16 North Rupununi villages involved in Community Monitoring, Reporting and Verification
Another major initiative to ensure that Guyana’s natural resources and wealth are sustainably harvested for the development of its present and future generations, the Community Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (C-MRV) Project that will have the involvement of 16 villages of the North Rupununi, was launched today in Annai, Region Nine. Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) is a key component of Guyana’s Readiness Preparation Proposal to the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and it was done so that Government could have presented to the international community the information that showed Guyana stuck to its commitment of being among the leading countries that promote sustainable development. Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud while addressing residents of Annai and several other surrounding communities at the Bina Hill Institute for the launch of C-MRV expressed gratitude to the many local and international stakeholders who have been and, continue to support the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), and Guyana as the leading pioneer in sustainable forest initiatives.
“When our former President (Bharrat) Jagdeo articulated for the country as whole to embrace the LCDS, the North Rupununi communities were among the first to step forward in identifying their role to play in this regard,” Minister Persaud explained. The C-MRV caters for: development of a community-based system to monitor the forest, land use, ecosystem services and wellbeing of the residents; providing support to the country’s national MRV system; creating a methodology to monitor impacts of future benefits to communities and Guyana and, working with other groups in the Amazon to develop a standardized system for rest of the world. Minister Persaud said the LCDS is a vehicle for moving Guyana forward, and the continual support from the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) in this regard is surely a step in the right direction for Guyana in implementing the Strategy.
“The NRDDB has always been a consistent partner in such initiative…so I want to commend the Board and to encourage you to see this project and undertaking as some impetus for you continue to play your role in promoting sustainable development,” Minister Persaud said. He also reminded residents about the agreement that was signed with the Norwegian Government that will see Guyana receiving over US $250 for ecological services. In order to receive the payments, he said several requirements and ‘bench marks’ had to be fulfilled, and which saw the launch of a National MRV system at cost over US$1M.
“So we have that national system that we have running for over one year and half and which we will have to continue…so far we have received resources transferred from the Government of Norway into the interim institution also known as the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF),” Minister Persaud explained. This C-MRV initiative, he said is timely, since it will support the National system at the community level and for this reason Government was eager and supportive to have this project launched so that it can contribute to the good of the community and the country at large.
“This project will bring social and economic benefits to the 16 communities involved, since over US $60M will be expended to implement and carry out the mandate of this project,” Minister Persaud explained. Saving the world’s remaining forests, Minister Persaud said is a crucial element in the battle against climate change. International pioneer in forestry conservation and Executive Director of the Global Canopy Programmes Dr. Andrew Mitchell was also present at the launch of C-MRV, and lauded Guyana for implementing the LCDS.
“I have been working in tropical forests for over 40 years and in 2007, I learnt about Guyana’s challenge to the world, urging the international community to come up with a new way of looking at the forest…something Guyana must be commended for,” Dr. Mitchell said. Guyana, he said has been a long standing pioneer in forestry conservation and “the first full scientific expedition to explore the canopy came from Oxford Univeristy in 1929 to British Guiana”.
The C-MRV project which was launched under the theme “Think Globally, Act Locally” will see communities working with several local and international partners, including the Global Canopy Programme, Iwokrama, the NRDDB, the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)