National Toshaos Council Chair, Derrick John attends Climate Summit
Chair of the National Toshaos Council, Derrick John, has been attending the 27th conference of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COP27.
On Friday November 11, Mr. John spoke in the Nature Zone of COP 27, updating participants on how Guyana’s indigenous peoples and local communities had engaged with national efforts on the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) since 2008. He focused in particular on the recent national consultation to produce the LCDS 2030. In August 2022, under Mr. John’s chairmanship, the NTC Council passed a resolution in support of the LCDS 2030 and its proposals for sharing the benefits of potential revenues from the sale of carbon credits in the voluntary carbon markets. These proposals are set out in the LCDS 2030 and envisage a dedicated 15% of funds for village-led priorities alongside other programmes to support communities across Guyana which will be managed nationally.
Earlier in the week, Mr. John joined Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat MP, at the opening ceremony of COP 27 – which is taking place in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt – where Heads of Government from all over the world gathered. Mr. John participated in meetings where pledges in support of indigenous peoples were advanced, including the United Kingdom’s pledge which was announced by British Prime Minister, Mr. Rishi Sunak. Minister Bharrat supported these efforts and met with UK Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith to discuss how the UK and Guyana could advance their ongoing partnerships as well as new potential actions coming out of COP27.
Mr John also witnessed the signing of the Guyana-European Union Forestry Partnership to support trade in sustainable timber products from Guyana’s forest communities – the partnership was signed by Minister Bharrat and European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen. His Excellency, President Irfaan Ali participated in the signing event remotely, and joined President von der Leyen in addressing the event. President Ali provided insights on how the partnership between the European Union and Guyana advanced the LCDS 2030 and thanked the European Union for its lasting support for Guyana’s efforts on sustainable forest management.
Mr. John is the Toshao of Moraikobai and was elected chairman of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) in July 2022. As the chair of the NTC, Mr. John represents the 20-strong Executive Committee, as well as the more than 200 elected Toshaos from villages across Guyana. At Friday’s Nature Zone event, he spoke of the importance of continued involvement by Toshaos now that the LCDS 2030 has been finalised, highlighting their role in producing the Village Plans. These plans will underpin locally-led efforts for investment in priorities identified by villages themselves – to progress the overall objectives of LCDS 2030.