Guyana/Norway strengthen climate and forest cooperation pact

Minister of State Joseph Harmon, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman, and Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson flanked by officials from the Kingdom of Norway, including the Minister of Climate and Environment,Ola Elvestuen

THE Government of Guyana and the Kingdom of Norway have agreed to accelerate their promotion of climate, forests and sustainable development during a high-level meeting in Oslo, Norway on Thursday.

The high-level Guyanese delegation, which was led by Minister of State Joseph Harmon and included Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman and Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, met with Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen and agreed to strengthen the existing partnership.

“I am delighted that we now have (a) strong agreement with the Government of Guyana on a way forward for our partnership,” the Norwegian Minister said shortly after exiting the meeting.

Guyana’s deforestation rate was placed under the microscope, during the meeting, and from all indications, the two Governments deeming the results as impressive on the basis that the country maintains extremely low rates of deforestation.
President David Granger’s strong push to safeguard critical parts of Guyana’s unique rainforests was also applauded by the Norwegian Government, with all parties agreeing that real progress has been made in addressing the forest governance issues in accordance with the letter and spirit of the partnership.

The Guyanese and Norwegian Ministers also underscored the importance of the Government of Guyana’s determination to achieve close to 100 percent clean and renewable energy supply by 2025, and its desire in that context to push to increase the amounts of solar power in Guyana’s energy mix.

On this basis they agreed to move as expeditiously as possible to enable the deployment of Norway’s results-based contributions – both those currently held by the Inter-American Development Bank, and outstanding results based payments of 300 million Norwegian kroners – towards the realization of this ambition.
“We are enthusiastic about this agreement on the way forward for our partnership. This is important to Guyana and Norway, and will also provide an example to the world,” stated Minister of State Joseph Harmon.

Minister Patterson added, “We will now move quickly to trilateral discussions [among] The Inter-American Development Bank, Guyana, and Norway on how best to deploy Norwegian funding to push our renewable power ambition forward,” stated Patterson.
In late 2017, the Kingdom of Norway approved the ICT Access and e-Services for the Hinterland, Poor and Remote Communities Project in the sum of US $17M.
The project when completed will see over 89,000 residents, in approximately 170 communities, having access to over 200 eGovernment ICT hubs.

In November 2009, the Government of Guyana and the Kingdom of Norway signed an MOU for funding up to USD 250 million over five years, 2010-2015, for ex-post delivery of results measured on two sets of indicators: Enabling Activities and REDD+ performance. The project has since been extended.

Finance is to be channeled through the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF), which was launched in October 2010 and is a vehicle to fund Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy and green initiatives.