COMMUNITY consultations have started to involve Guyanese in developing a Grievance and Redress Mechanism (GRM) for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) implementation in Guyana.
Consultations were held at Linden, Port Kaituma and Bartica and are moving to Mahdia, Anna Regina and Annai. At these engagements, REDD+stakeholders, including indigenous peoples and residents of forest-dependent communities, are helping to come up with recommendations for a REDD+ GRM.
They are doing this by examining existing mechanisms, identifying gaps and suggesting ways to address same for better functioning. The stakeholders are also being updated on the historical analysis of REDD+related grievances and existing GRMs.
The activities are led by a local firm, The Consultancy Group (TCG), which was contracted in December 2017 by the Ministry of Natural Resources under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Project (FCPF).
By the end of the consultancy, the firm is expected to develop a national coordinating structure and procedures to receive; process and investigate complaints from affected parties/communities under the REDD+ implementation in Guyana.
This mechanism, based on engagement and dialogue, must be accessible, transparent, rights-compatible, fair, accepted and must benefit from continuous learning.
A review of grievances surrounding REDD+ and natural resources management in Guyana over the last five years, indicated that REDD+ related grievances can be classified in two categories: institution-related grievances and land-related.
Institutional grievances refer to stakeholder concerns about the functioning of specific government agencies, its officers and management, and the overall management of natural resources in Guyana. Land-related grievances involve miners, foresters, farmers, and indigenous communities.
The FCPF project is ensuring that a GRM is available from the earliest stages of REDD+ Readiness in Guyana.