Guyana tasked with leading new forest protection plans in Commonwealth


Guyana is playing a leading role in the development of a new blueprint for forest protection and natural resource use, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said on Saturday.

Dr. Ali, during a press conference, highlighted that Guyana was appointed by the Commonwealth Secretariat to build consensus on the “sustainable and regenerative use of natural resources” among the Heads of Government in the bloc.

In so doing, the Guyana is expected to help develop a blueprint for carbon credit use, forest protection and a “coherent and consensual approach” to the upcoming United Nations (UN) climate talks, COP28.

“Guyana and Gabon are leading efforts in this area,” the President said.

Guyana has been recognised for its forest protection efforts and, for over a decade, it has lobbied for a global system that pays the country for keeping the forest intact. Norway was the first to buy in, signing a deal for USS$250 million, once deforestation rates remain intact.

President Dr Irfaan Ali made the announcement during a press conference at State House (Photo: Office of the President/ September 9, 2023)

Last year, an end-user agreement for carbon credits was signed with the oil company Hess Corporation. The Hess deal, Guyana’s first carbon credit deal so far, was brokered after the country got special carbon credits issued to it last December.

These forests cover an area the size of England. The forests store over 19.5 gigatonnes of carbon which if cut down, would release all of that into the atmosphere, further causing harm to the environment.

But Guyana has been protecting those forests for years; it is focused on ways on sustainably managing those forests and earning from its forest protection efforts.

President Ali, on Saturday, emphasised that the government is committed to environmental preservation.

“This will never change.

“Guyana is just one of four high-forest cover, low-deforestation countries in the world. That is why the recent coup in Gabon, another [High Forest cover, Low Deforestation] country is of concern to us.

“We don’t want that to affect its environmental protection efforts. We are more than willing to help them to continue the preservation path,” Dr. Ali said.

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