Guyana leading new global alliance to get payments for protecting plants, animals & forests


Building on the globally-recognised Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali on Wednesday announced that the country is leading a new ambitious venture to get payments for protecting plants, animals and forests.

“Guyana intends to take the leadership role in mobilising friends and countries into a global alliance on biodiversity and commence the work on creating a scalable model that will address forests and biodiversity together,” the Guyanese Head of State highlighted.

Dr. Ali said this as he spoke at the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Investment Forum at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Georgetown.

Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali addressing the Caribbean Investment Forum at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (Photo: News Room/ July 10, 2024)

And he pointed out that the work on establishing this alliance commenced hours earlier when he was at Baganara for the Concordia Amazonas Summit.

Already, President Ali said the leaders of at least 17 countries, academics and other stakeholders will be part of this venture. Together, they will develop a new mechanism to get a globally-accepted price or payment scheme to support countries protecting their biodiversity and forests.

“We are going to set the narrative on creating the benchmark for biodiversity, creating a framework and working model on biodiversity,” the President said.

This isn’t the first time the intention to get payments or some sort of compensation for protecting biodiversity (plants and animals) was made known.

About 85% of the country’s landmass is covered in pristine forests. That’s about 18.5 million hectares of forests that help to trap about 19.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the measure for harmful greenhouse gas emissions that contributes to the climate crisis.

And though the country is calling for more forest-saving funds, through its new jurisdictional (or national coverage) carbon credits venture that falls under its LCDS, it believes that it should also get paid to continue protecting the biodiversity found in those forests and for further research to find what hasn’t been found yet.

“As the model (the LCDS) is implemented over the years, we know that there must be a value attached to biodiversity,” President Ali said in Dubai at last year’s United Nations (UN) climate talks, COP28.

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