Climate change mitigation support to emerging or developing countries should be given by western industrialized (so called ANNEX I) countries. In Copenhagen leaders of the world have agreed to start some financing activities in the fields of climate change aid. Our bosses had been in the opinion that it would make sense to immediately start these financing activities and therefore called it “fast start funding” or “fast start financing of climate change mitigation”. The program aims to initiate climate change mitigation activities in developing countries in the forefront of a new global climate treaty for the years 2010 – 2012 (as recent climate change program called ‘Kyoto Protocol’ will end in 2012).
As forests – tropical rainforests in detail – are one of the big “global players” in CO2 emissions because of them being destroyed by humans on a large extend (mainly for agricultural reasons), people have decided to start a program against deforestation. This program is called REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation) and is taught to be one of the more successful parts of international climate change mitigation negotiations.
One reason of why REDD+ is seen as a performer is the voluntary REDD+ Partnership agreement. Leaders of ANNEX I Countries as well as of developing countries have joined in 2010 twice (once in Paris and a second time in Oslo) to think about on how to fast start funding of REDD+
Norway is one of the big players of this game. Norway promised right from the beginning of REDD (later being converted to REDD+) negotiations to support this initiative against deforestation. In 2010 Norway was one of the driving forces of the REDD+ Partnership agreement and it has pledged the amount of 2 billion USD.
At the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference Norway has signed an agreement with Indonesia for an immediate REDD+ financial support of about 1 billion USD and there was some smaller agreements with countries like Guyana.
Some weeks later Norway started to tender assessment support for the Guyana agreement. Norway and Guyana agreed to hire an independent consulter to assess the progress of Guyana in terms of the agreement which has been signed earlier this year.
This assessment should be based on the “Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway regarding cooperation on Issues related to the Fight against Climate Change, the Protection of Biodiversity and the Enhancement of Sustainable Development” and on the “Joint Concept Note on REDD+ cooperation between Guyana and Norway” (you can find these documents here).
In the joint concept note you will find the following statements:
Under “Enabling activities” – “Strategic Framework”:
- “Information concerning all expenditures, both planned and implemented, will be publicly available.”
The REDD-plus governance development plan should include the following points:
- “REDD-plus-relevant decisions and data should be publicly available.”
- “The distribution system will be publicly available and will be reported on annually.”
And here we hit the point.
Guyana is getting money from Norway to slow down deforestation and to invest in sustainable forest management, forest conservation and carbon enhancement. Norway is binding its payments to obligations of Guyana in sticking to global agreed safeguards. This is ok.
But why is Norway asking (forcing?) Guyana to make all of its data publicly available?
Isn’t this a question of holding the national sovereignty of a country in high regard?
Isn’t very specific information about a sector of a country, even if it is just the “forest sector”, part of a countries assets and should therefore not been known by everybody?
Of course Norway has to know the facts in terms of Guyana is hitting the targets they have agreed on. And Guyana has to deliver the corresponding information to Norway. No doubt on that. But why to publish this data to everyone?
I am just curious on the ratio behind – if you have an answer to this, just sent me a short notice…
REDD+: Development Aid, Neocolonialism or Anticipatory Obedience towards do-gooder NGOs?