IDB, CI-Guyana sign US$1.6M deal for LCDS implementation
THE Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Conservation International-Guyana (CI-Guyana) signed an agreement yesterday, to begin a project that will test models for implementation of this country’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).
The US$1.6M undertaking, called ‘Leveraging Natural Capital in Guyana’s Rupununi’ (Improving Livelihoods through Low Carbon Economic Development in the Rupununi), is the largest such, to date, financed by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the IDB locally.
It will support the LCDS by contributing to the economic development of the Rupununi while preserving its ecosystems, by creating and strengthening environmentally and socially sustainable, local level, business-led initiatives in that region.
Signatories to the deal were IDB Country Representative Sophie Makonnen and Executive Director of CI-Guyana, David Singh.
Makonnen advised that the aim is to give low income populations the tools to boost their income, by giving them the necessary skills, access to markets, access to financing and basic services. It is intended that the lessons learnt will be documented and shared with national and international audiences through the
IDB’s knowledge network.
Singh revealed that 70 percent of the programme will be financed by IDB and the remaining 30 percent through funds raised by CI.
He also noted that CI’s work is based on three platforms; science, working with partners and through field demonstration activities. This, he said, is very important since it starts with carrying out a number of assessments to understand how one can enable the community based enterprises within the context of LCDS and then working with these enterprises to develop their businesses and support them both technically and financially.
“Our intention in this particular project is really not only in regard to working and developing this initiative within the Rupununi, but to test and learn how one could actually embark on low carbon development at a local level, learn from those examples so that we can expand that across the country and across the world,” Singh said.
He also disclosed that the target for the three-year duration is 23 community based enterprises and (indirectly) approximately 7,500 indigenous people will benefit.
A joint press release, from the IDB and CI, said the scheme will be built on community based nature tourism and agriculture which the local and indigenous communities have identified as being central for sustainable development in Rupununi.
The release added that the project will build on and support current initiatives already being implemented by the communities, Government of Guyana and other development partners and will test the assumption that low carbon businesses can receive a premium for their products, through the benefits of operating within and maintaining an intact environment.
The formal launching in Lethem, Rupununi will take place on October 13.