Govt tables LCDS 2030 in National Assembly with full support from stakeholders
– more meetings to be held to further refine strategy
The Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030, which has the seal of approval from multiple stakeholders after seven months of consultations, has been laid in the National Assembly by Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh.
The Government launched consultations on LCDS 2030, which were coordinated by a Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee (MSSC), since October of last year. These consultations were able to come up with various ways to invest revenues from forest carbon markets, outside of regular budgetary allocations.
“The LCDS 2030 will be funded from more than just the new revenues from forest carbon markets – regular national finances will also be deployed. However, there are particular new opportunities to use the new revenue streams from carbon markets to the benefit of those who live in, and depend on, the forest – as well as other local communities.”
The national consultation on the LCDS 2030 sought ideas on how these new revenues could be invested. As a result, the strategy sets out two pathways; (one) National programmes as outlined in the draft LCDS 2030, including investments in renewable energy, land titling, protection against climate change and other areas,” the Finance Minister said in a statement.
Another way of investing the money is in community/village-led programmes for Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) as set out in Village Sustainability Plans (VSPs) or equivalent. These plans will be put together by communities themselves in accordance with the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as set out in the LCDS 2030 Chapter Two.
Additionally, the strategy will dedicate 15 per cent of all revenues from forest carbon markets, to Amerindian communities who choose to opt in and produce their own Village Sustainability Plans. According to the Ministry, the National Toshaos Council at the just concluded NTC Conference welcomed the strategy in a resolution on the final day.
According to the NTC, “the extensive national-scale and community-based consultations, conducted over the past seven months, have informed the main aspects of LCDS 2030” while welcoming “the commitment expressed in the LCDS 2030 to continued consultation and engagement with Indigenous communities and villages as the LCDS moves to implementation.”
Following the NTC Conference, the finalisation of the LCDS was approved “based on the wide-ranging stakeholder feedback since October 2021”. It was laid during Thursday’s sitting of National Assembly. The MSSC will meanwhile oversee the consultative process and implementation of the LCDS 2030.
“It comprises representatives of Government Ministries and agencies, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, youth, mining and forestry producers, the National Toshaos Council, Indigenous communities, and civil society,” the Minister explained.
According to the Ministry, the MSSC will continue to meet regularly even after the LCDS would have been tabled in the National Assembly. This will iron out elements of the LCDS that require further consultation and brainstorming.
Since the launch, thousands of people across Guyana participated in information sharing and consultation activities. In his foreword to the LCDS 2030, President Ali thanked all those who participated and contributed ideas and opinions.
The President said: “The strategy that has resulted is not a static document – but rather a vision that will live for years to come. It sets a direction of travel that I believe will catalyse innovation and new ideas as its various elements move to implementation. I hope that as this implementation pathway evolves, our national conversation and consultation about its important measures will continue. I want everyone in the country to have the chance to forge opinions about sustainable development.”
The LCDS 2030 seeks to create a new low-carbon economy in Guyana by establishing incentives which value the world’s ecosystem services, and promote these as an essential component of a new model of global development with sustainability at its core. In Guyana’s case, it is about harnessing the value of the country’s ecosystem services to build a long-term, low-carbon diversification opportunity.
Guyana, along with a number of other countries, gave its full support at the United Nations 26th Conference of Parties (COP26), held in Glasgow, Scotland, to play its part in protecting against climate change.
In fact, over 130 leaders, representing more than 90 per cent of the world’s forests, have committed to work together to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 in the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use. Countries have also committed to the funding pledge of US$12 billion between 2021 and 2025 to finance forest-related matters.
The LCDS was first launched on June 8, 2009, with the revised version being published in May 2010. This version was subsequently launched in March 2013. The new draft is intended to continue and build upon the work started in 2008.
Between the period of 2009 to 2015, Guyana earned US$212.52 million in forest service payments from Norway, to be invested in the LCDS. This has created low-carbon jobs; enabled Amerindian villages to receive legal titles for communal lands; rehabilitated the Cunha Canal to protect against flooding; and started to equip Amerindian and hinterland communities with renewable energy, digital infrastructure, and sustainable livelihood opportunities.