Guyana to get €5M to protect rainforest, support indigenous communities

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The Government of Guyana and the European Union (EU) will sign a Forest Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will see Guyana receiving €5 million to help with the preservation of its forests.

The MoU will be signed between the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and the Government of Guyana at the sidelines of the Conference of the Parties (COP) 27 in Egypt on November 8.

The signing of the MoU is a reflection of the unwavering commitment of Guyana to protect its unique rainforest, a press release from the Delegation of the European Union to Guyana on Monday noted.

According to EU Ambassador to Guyana, Rene van Nes, Guyana is unique in that it is one of the few countries in the world that has a negative carbon footprint, the press release noted.

He outlined that Guyana is an example for the world and the forest partnership is a recognition of the sustained efforts by the country in preserving its forests and ensuring that timber harvesting is regulated, the release added.

Meanwhile, according to President Dr Irfaan Ali, Guyana remains committed to fighting climate change and developing sustainably.

He pointed out that Guyana’s development is structured in a Low Carbon Development Strategy, which will help Guyana to build a global model for forest climate services and other ecosystem services, the release noted.

There are four main objectives of the MoU, namely, increasing the area of protected, restored, or sustainably managed forests, including mangroves; increasing the number of forest-related jobs; maintaining the close-to-zero annual rate of deforestation of natural forests and looking for ways to facilitate investment and trade in legal and sustainable wood products between Guyana and the EU.

The release noted that with an initial €5 million grant from the EU for activities, immediate results are expected in supporting Indigenous Peoples and local communities, supporting small-scale producers, promoting sustainable trade in forest and agriculture commodities and building capacity to drive behaviour change.

Youth and women are also expected to play an important role in the planning and implementation of activities related to the partnership.

Reflective of its continuing strong stewardship on forests, climate and the environment, Guyana launched its visionary Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030.

The LCDS sets out how forests and biodiversity can be maintained, whilst the country expands green jobs, transitions the domestic energy supply to clean and renewable energy sources, and adapts to the impacts of climate change.

In recent years, the EU and Guyana have implemented several forest-related actions. Recognizing the urgent need for strategic and focused cooperation.

Building on the strong engagement in and motivation for forest conservation by the Guyanese government, both sides are increasing their cooperation on forests to make an important contribution to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

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