Guyana: world’s first jurisdictional, REDD+forestry carbon credit recipient

GUYANA has been issued $33.47 million in forest carbon credits from the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART), The REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard, (TREES) for the five years between 2016 and 2020, after the conclusion of an independent validation and verification process and approval by the ART Board.

These serialized credits are available to buyers on the international carbon market. Airlines can use them to comply with CORSIA, the International Civil Aviation Organization’s global emission-reduction programme, and to fulfil voluntarily made corporate climate commitments. They are listed on ART’s public registry.

Guyana’s successful completion of the ART procedure opens the door for other governments seeking to benefit from carbon-market financing, for their efforts to protect and restore forests successfully.

Currently, 14 additional nations and sizeable sub-national entities are working toward issuing their own TREES credits.

The achievement highlights the nation’s progress in safeguarding its forests, and Frances Seymour, the chair of the ART Board, praised the Government of Guyana and the numerous domestic stakeholder groups that contributed to it.

“Guyana is the first country to finish the ART process for producing high-integrity, Paris Agreement-aligned carbon credits, which will enable the nation to continue utilizing market-based financing to carry out forest-stewardship plans,” he had noted. “As a result of Guyana’s experience, ART, other governments, and significant stakeholder groups, particularly Indigenous Peoples and local people, may now accelerate efforts to achieve global forest and climate targets while maintaining social and environmental integrity.”

Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, Vice-President of Guyana, praised Guyana for its leadership and tenacity, which date back to 2007 when Guyana first outlined a far-reaching vision for how national-scale action on forests could unlock significant global benefits in the fight against climate change, the preservation of biodiversity, and the development of energy.

The Vice-President emphasized that if the peoples of forest countries designed their course ahead, so that action on forests aided their legitimate development ambitions, ambitious success was possible—in Guyana and worldwide.

“The people of Guyana continue to be willing to play their part—but we also need international standards that keep pace with what science tells us is needed to safeguard the world’s vital tropical forests. So, we are pleased that ART-TREES was created to help accelerate global climate action. By recognizing what forested countries such Guyana have long called for: the time for small-scale pilots and projects is long past, the world needs jurisdiction-scale action to make the required impact. The world also needs to value the ecosystem services that tropical forests provide. Today, the vision laid out in 2007 moves to the next phase – where payments for forest climate services can be sourced from global carbon markets. We are pleased that the vision of 15 years ago moves forward in a major way today,” the Vice President said.

Aster Global Environmental Services, Inc., a globally recognized provider of environmental services, carried out the independent validation and verification process by auditing Guyana’s REDD+ results for compliance with both the strict social and environmental safeguards of TREES and the requirements for carbon accounting.

Toshao Derrick John, the Chair of the National Toshaos’ Council in Guyana, spoke on behalf of NTC “The National Toshaos’ Council applauds this significant development in Guyana’s low-carbon development program because it will help indigenous communities further their efforts to protect their forests and develop and expand sustainable likelihood opportunities at the village level.

“The NTC is happy that Guyana is leading efforts on climate finance that will directly help Indigenous Peoples promote climate resilience and sustainable-livelihood prospects. The NTC is the national body that represents all elected Indigenous village leaders in Guyana.”

Before the crediting approach in TREES, no market-oriented strategy allowed high-forest and low-deforestation (HFLD) jurisdictions to benefit from carbon-market finance.
The HFLD crediting strategy in TREES acknowledges that in order to prevent deforestation and degradation, HFLD jurisdictions must continue to actively protect forests, and that carbon-market finance can be a potent incentive to do so.

On ART’s public registry, each and every HFLD credit is identified as such.

Historically, areas with significant rates of deforestation have been the main focus of carbon markets.

With the issuance of the first TREES credits to Guyana, this is already beginning to change.

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