World Wildlife Fund disappointed over LCDS budget cut
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Guianas has expressed concern that the cut to the budgetary allocation for the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) will undoubtedly negatively impact the country’s development initiatives through the revolutionary programme.
The strategy, that seeks to transform Guyana’s economy along a low carbon trajectory, is the brainchild of former President Bharrat Jagdeo that is today considered a blueprint in the global search for a solution to tackle the climate change phenomenon.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) release, the LCDS is built around forest conservation and preservation, and has identified priority projects like hydropower, Amerindian land titling and demarcation, a climate adaptation project with funding from a historic Guyana / Norway forest carbon services agreement.
According to the WWF, Guyana has shown leadership among the global community in seeking solutions to the issue of climate change and biodiversity conservation through the innovative, development of the LCDS. The body, which hailed Guyana’s LCDS as one with transformational capacity, is disappointed with the recent actions in the Parliament and is urging that “sincere and urgent dialogue be pursued among key decision makers in an attempt to bring a speedy resolution to the current impasse”.
The Gy$20 billion allocated to the strategy in this year’s national budget, was reduced to Gy$ 1 billion after the opposition political parties used their one-seat majority to cut Gy$ 19 billion from the strategy.
The cuts have also attracted the attention of the Norwegian government, according to new Norwegian Ambassador to Guyana Aud Marti Wiig who met Prime Minister Samuel Hinds recently. Guyana has already earned US$ 115 million from the Norwegian government with the setting up of the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) to implement projects under the LCDS.