First 13 Amerindian villages receive $187M from sale of carbon credits

The first 13 Amerindian villages have received monies totalling $187 million earned from the sale of carbon credits on May 18, which is intended to boost economic sustainability in these remote areas.

Guyana signed a contract with Hess Corporation which will see the nation earning US$750 million for 30 per cent of its forest within a ten-year period. The country has earned US$150 million for the year 2023.

While 85 per cent is being invested in multi-community and national priorities identified by stakeholders during the seven-month consultation on the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030, 15 per cent ($4.7 billion) is allocated towards Amerindian development.

This was revealed by the Office of the Vice President in a press release that welcomed the conclusion of the independent ART-TREES grievance process, which rejected the complaint made by the Amerindian People’s Association (APA), including the associated call by the APA for the suspension of Guyana’s ART-TREES carbon credits.

Monies were disbursed after the villages completed their development plans that highlighted areas in need of investment.

“These include priorities as varied as building shade houses, improving local guesthouses for tourism, supporting cassava farming, providing craft classes, and purchasing village tractors,” the press release pointed out.

Some 242 Amerindian communities are tasked with developing village plans and already 80 have completed this requirement in keeping with the standards required by the village-led process.

 “In all cases, the village processes must culminate with a vote of approval from at least two-thirds of all adult villagers present at village meetings. All 242 communities have their own carbon credit bank accounts and finance committees chosen by villagers and community members,” the missive further explained.

The release noted that now that the APA’s complaint has been rejected, the government hopes that Amerindian families will be freed from worry that their expected benefits will be jeopardised.

The APA’s complaint was made without the proper knowledge or support of any Amerindian communities in Guyana and even without the knowledge and support of any elected leader.