11 months ago

Climate Action 2010-2011

Redd, Sustainable Forest

Redd, Sustainable Forest Management and Agriculture climate services scheme and catalyse transformative private investment of up to US$2 billion in identified low-carbon priorities. Incentives are working Now that we have incentives for avoiding deforestation and forest degradation in place, we are able to start the transformation of the Guyanese economy through a balanced blend of large-scale strategic investment and community-led economic and social empowerment activities. For example, we are using forest payments to catalyse significant private finance to build hydro-power capacity. This will deliver cheaper electricity to our citizens and businesses, and simultaneously enable Guyana’s power sector to transition to nearly 100 per cent clean, renewable energy sources. We are starting to nurture private sector investments in six transformative low-carbon sectors and over a billion dollars in annual export potential from low-carbon Incentives to protect forests are not a side issue in the fight against climate change: there is no solution to climate change without them. sectors is being pursued. In parallel, we are starting to implement almost 200 Community Development Plans created by our Amerindian (indigenous) communities. Based on priorities identified by villages, initial work includes installation of solar power in villages; expansion of IT networks to connect communities with government services and markets for their produce; and provision of specific assistance for new economic sectors. We are also expanding the national digital infrastructure including a fibre-optic link with Brazil; investing in small business low-carbon development; creating an International Centre for Biodiversity; strengthening forest governance; building better capabilities to monitor, report and verify forest carbon abatement; and expanding social and economic development programmes for indigenous peoples, forestdependent communities and vulnerable groups. An international blueprint for forest protection? I would not want to suggest that Guyana’s is the only relevant model for forest protection. Every forest country must be free to determine for themselves how best to access and use internationally available incentives for forest payments. However, incentives to protect forests are not a side issue in the fight against climate change: there is no solution to climate change without them. And national | 128 | models can inspire the broader international community to believe that success is possible. So we hope that we can provide part of that inspiration. We believe that we are starting to prove that incentives for forest protection work. We also believe that we are working through the practical, detailed steps for earning and investing the incentives in ways that safeguard the rights and legitimate aspirations of our citizens. Based on our experience, I believe that the international community can deliver three significant actions in the coming months: 1. International financing of the scale set out in the IWG-IFR report should be put in place to create the incentives needed to achieve a 25 per cent reduction in deforestation and forest degradation by 2015. This would cost less than €25 billion total over five years. As a ‘price’ for 7Gt of emissions reductions, it is evidently value-for-money. 2. Forest countries should put forward their own strategies on how they can deliver their side of the bargain. Large numbers of forest countries have said that they are ready to act if the incentives are put in place – and several countries, including Guyana, show that ambition on REDD+ also delivers major progress in biodiversity protection, poverty alleviation and overall national development. 3. A specific financial mechanism for Redd+ should be agreed by the international community and be implemented immediately. Some people think this is a point of detail but it is absolutely crucial – without the GRIF, the Guyana-Norway partnership would not be able to move forward. All of the three actions I propose are do-able now. Cumulatively over the next five years, they could deliver the single biggest reduction in GHG emissions in history. They can also build the foundation for a long-lasting REDD+ solution. Most importantly, they can align the development interests of forest countries with the action we need in the battle against catastrophic climate change. This is the fight of our generation, and the right action on forests can help us to win it. Bharrat Jagdeo has been President of Guyana since 1999. Long an advocate for meaningful reform of international institutions, he was the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the IMF and World Bank in 2005. He is outspoken about the need for urgent action on climate change and the important role of developing countries in determining that action. President Jagdeo was awarded the United Nations “Champion of the Earth” award in 2010. Time Magazine and CNN also named the President as one of their “Heroes of the Environment 2008”. In early 2010, the Secretary General of the United Nations asked President Jagdeo to serve on the Secretary General’s High Level Advisory Group on Climate Finance. Email: Website:

SPECIAL FEATURE | Esri Jack Dangermond Esri A systems approach to climate change GIS gives us hope Geography is a fundamental science that helps us describe the natural and human systems of our planet, including components that contribute to and are influenced by climate change. Geographic information system (GIS) technology gives you a comprehensive understanding of complex systems so that you can make informed, actionable decisions. People use GIS every day to view and manage information about geographic features, analyse geographic relationships, and model geographic processes. As a foundational technology, it lets local, regional, and global organisations collect, manage, and analyse a myriad of physical, biological, and cultural data describing earth. GIS is a simulation of the earth with powerful tools that can assess future climatic conditions based on different management approaches. The result is power and flexibility, making it the system of choice for analysing and managing earth’s complex systems. A proven system for climate change GIS facilitates the geographic approach to decision making – a new way of thinking and problem solving that integrates geographic information into how we understand and manage global issues resulting from climate change. It’s a systematic approach that allows us to ‘create’ geographic knowledge by measuring the earth, organise this data and analyse and model various processes and their relationships. It also allows us to ‘apply’ this knowledge to the way we design, plan, and change our world. GIS is an established technology with a long history of driving climate science and environmental decision making. Decision makers, policymakers, planners, scientists, and many others worldwide, rely on GIS for addressing complex problems such as: • Climate science and modelling; • Sustainable planning; • Renewable energy planning; • Rainforest management; • Carbon accounting and assessment; • Biomass and land-use inventory; • Reporting and compliance; • Disaster planning and management; • Real-time communication; • Community awareness and engagement. GIS users represent a vast reservoir of knowledge, expertise, and best practices in applying this cornerstone technology to the science of climate change and understanding its impact on natural and human systems. | 129 |