Review of Norway Agreement will not affect bilateral relations – Min. Harmon

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon recently confirmed that Guyana will be meeting with Norway to discuss the way forward with the agreement, which was signed in 2009.

The minister explained that Norway’s Environment Minister has acknowledged receipt of a letter sent to him regarding the review of the agreement. He expressed confidence that these issues will not prevent Guyana from receiving the benefits to be accrued.

“With respect to the terms and conditions of the agreement itself we are still working on those things and they is still an active engagement on both sides … the extent to which the contract will be going forward, certainly these are issues we intend to address”, Minister Harmon noted.

The State Minister alluded to recent revelations by Commissioner of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), James Singh highlighting Guyana’s performance and achievements under the agreement.

President David Granger, Minister Harmon said, had made it clear that the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) be placed as the highest priority of the agreement with Norway. Minister Harmon added that he is not worried about the relationship with Norway being affected due to the decision to have it reviewed.

In the November 2009 agreement, Norway agreed to provide Guyana up to US$250M by 2015 in performance-based payments for avoided deforestation in support of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

Following the signing, the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) was created in October 2010, with the World Bank as trustee, and represents an effort to create an innovative climate finance mechanism which balances national sovereignty over investment priorities while ensuring that REDD+ funds adhere to the highest internationally recognised standards for financial, environmental and social safeguards.

 

By: Stacy Carmichael

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