$31B in supplementary funding approved for Indigenous communities & climate action

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The National Assembly on Thursday approved $31 billion in supplementary funding to cater for direct disbursements to Guyana’s Indigenous communities and climate adaptation measures.

These funds include $4.7 billion that will be directly allocated to 242 Indigenous communities all across the country and $26.5 billion for climate adaptation measures. They were earned through Guyana’s carbon credits deal with the Hess Corporation.

See below the full release from the Ministry of Finance:

Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, on behalf of Government, successfully piloted a $31 Billion Supplementary Appropriation Bill which was endorsed by the National Assembly today.

The Bill, comprising Financial Paper Number 1 and 2 of 2023, was first presented on April 24 last during the 63rd Sitting of the National Assembly, and allocates US$150 million in revenues from carbon credits towards two critical priorities under the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

This significant step follows the recent payment of US$37.5 million from the Hess Corporation for carbon credits, bringing the total payments received to date to US$150 million, the highest revenue stream of its kind in the world.

As outlined in the bill, the allocated revenues will be directed towards two major priorities of the LCDS.

Priority One: Empowering Villages through Investments

In line with the LCDS objectives, 15% of the revenues are being dedicated to bottom-up investments through community plans outlined in village sustainability plans. Villages have the autonomy to choose whether or not to participate in the benefit-sharing mechanism, and thus far, 200 out of Guyana’s 242 villages have produced their village plans. The strategic investment empowers villages across Guyana by providing the necessary resources and support to enhance their social, economic, and environmental well-being.

By involving villages in the planning and decision-making process, this allocation promotes community ownership and ensures effective utilisation of funds to address their specific needs. The village plans designed by community members include infrastructure development, education and healthcare initiatives, entrepreneurship support, cultural preservation, and other projects that foster sustainable development within the communities.

Priority Two: Promoting Climate Adaptation and Resilience

Recognising the urgent need to address the impacts of climate change, the government is prioritising one of the largest investments in climate adaptation in Guyana’s history. A substantial portion of the allocated funds, approximately US$127.5 million, will be dedicated to implementing comprehensive climate adaptation measures throughout the country.
Guyana, with its extensive coastal areas and diverse ecosystems, is particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and shifting rainfall patterns. By investing in climate adaptation, Guyana will enhance its ability to mitigate these risks and build resilience, ensuring the protection of its people, infrastructure, and natural resources.

This considerable investment will support various climate adaptation initiatives, including the construction of two major canals in Regions 5 and 6, the rehabilitation of 20 sluices in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, as well as the procurement of pumps and excavators for use across multiple regions.

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