Iwokrama hails Guyana’s carbon credit deal

Last Updated on Wednesday, 7 December 2022, 18:54 by Denis Chabrol

The Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development  on Wednesday welcomed Guyana’s securing of an innovative carbon credit agreement with Hess Corporation.

The new agreement is the world’s first under the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) initiative, and The REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard (TREES) system.

“It is important to note that accreditation under the TREES process includes the quantification, monitoring, reporting and verification of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reductions and removals from REDD+ activities at a jurisdictional and national scale, which is assessed and verified by international third-party auditors. Guyana’s success in this process is a significant and signal achievement,” Iwokrama said. 

The US$750 million deal was inked last week in Georgetown and, according to Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, all of the monies would be disbursed to Guyana within the next 18 months. He has said that the money would be put into a special fund and will be audited. At least US$112 million, Mr Jagdeo has said, will be provided equitably to Indigenous Indian communities.

Indeed, the landmark Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) initially launched in 2009 was innovative in demonstrating the value of forest services in combating climate change while concurrently providing economic returns that maintain livelihoods and contribute beyond traditional means of the timber trade, to the gross domestic product (GDP). Of equal importance is the substantial financial benefits provided by the agreement to the local communities – the true stewards of Guyana’s forests, Iwokrama said.   The wider scope LCDS 2030 to include blue carbon and other natural assets exemplifies the every increasing prominent role forests and the environment hold on the national agenda.

Dane Gobin, CEO of Iwokrama, noted “these are exciting times for Guyana as it continues to mobilize its forest services in the fight against climate change”. The 1,000,000 acre Iwokrama Forest is an integral part of Guyana’s demonstration of how tropical forests can be conserved and utilized sustainably for local, national and global benefit. Mr Gobin contends that the Guyana – Hess agreement signals, finally, recognition by the private sector of the substantial value of ecosystem services and the urgent need to sustain them. 

The Iwokrama International Centre says it remains committed to supporting the successful implementation of the Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030.  “The Government of Guyana’s continued support to the Centre’s work  is highly valued and, yet again, underscores Guyana’s leadership role sustaining nature and supporting socio-economic development,” the centre added.