Indigenous communities pleased with REDD+ consultations

— the project unit continues its 21-month consultancy

— aimed at boosting the capacities of indigenous groups and communities

DPI, Guyana, Thursday August 8, 2019

Indigenous community leaders of the Rupununi have expressed their satisfaction with capacity building and empowerment support being provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources through the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Project.

The FCPF also known as the REDD+ readiness project, on August 8, 2019, handed over close to $5M in equipment and supplies to three main Indigenous representative groups of Region 9 – the Kanuku Mountain Community Representative Group (KMCRG), South Rupununi District Council (SRDC) and the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB). The supplies included computers, hard drives, generators, cameras, solar panels and operating systems, communication equipment and office furnishings among others.

KMCRG’s President and Toshao of Yupukari, Russian Dorrick, says following extensive consultations from the REDD+ group, his community was happy with what they have been guided upon thus far.

“They [villagers] feel that they are now a part of this because previously we were only told once and the reports were not coming back, so now when Mr. Clayton Hall [Project Coordinator of FCPF-REDD+ Guyana], was here to do presentation and the Toshao was out, he would disseminate the information, so they (villagers) feel a part of it,” Dorrick stated.

He told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that communities have been given lots of material on the subject matter, affording them a better understanding of the REDD+ initiative.

The KMCRG is one of ten (10) national indigenous representative groups that are partnering with the FCPF for REDD+ readiness in Guyana. This phase focuses on strengthening and building the capacity of key Indigenous and forest-dependent institutions and stakeholders, to ensure their readiness, involvement, inputs and active participation for an inclusive REDD+ programme.

Jacqueline Allicock, NRDDB’s Chairperson said communities in the North Rupununi were already very familiar with the REDD+ initiative, and the NRDDB, as an umbrella body is happy to be part of the groundwork for REDD+ and readiness. “Now that it is coming to documentation, and actually seeing it is a big plus for us, the villagers welcome it… We have seen the difference in how we farm from then to now.”

In the South Rupununi, SRDC’s Chairman Nicholas Fredericks, who is also Chairman of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) confirmed that many villages have indeed benefitted from the REDD+ readiness consultations. “Understanding REDD+ and how we as Indigenous peoples can play apart because it has to do with the forest, which is us.” He declared.

REDD+ ultimate goal is to contribute to climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The REDD+ readiness capacity-building work is a twenty-one-month consultancy programme, and one of six readiness activities being undertaken by the FCPF project.

Earlier in the year, FCPF delivered over $5M in equipment and supplies to the NTC while similar provisions have been made for similar Indigenous NGOs with which the FCPF is partnering including the North Pakaraimas District Council (NPDC), Guyanese Organisation of Indigenous People (GOIP) and National Amerindian Development Foundation (NADF).