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|Workshop explores payment for ecosystem services|
|Wednesday, 14 March 2012 22:57|
- for incorporation into National MRV systems
THE Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and Winrock International yesterday began a two-day workshop, which will see discussions being centred on the exploration of payments for Guyana’s sustenance of its eco-system services. The workshop which was held under the theme, ‘Exploration of Payment for Ecosystem Services for incorporation into Guyana’s National Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV), systems’, will not only see the basic concepts of payments for Ecosystem Services introduced; but case studies presented and feedback received, on successful PES activities in Guyana.
Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud, while delivering the feature address at yesterday’s proceedings at the GFC, said the workshop is timely, as increasingly government has been taking an integrated approach to the management of its natural resources.
“The preservation and sustenance of our natural resources are necessary, if we are to ensure that maximum benefits are derived, as we (government), pursue aggressive and sustained utilisation of natural resources,” Minister Persaud said.
The Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which has been complementing other initiatives and has kept the country on a path of sustainable development; has taken the country to a next level, as government was able to pass the Protected Areas Bill last year.
In line with this, a Protected Areas Commission was constituted, while Shell Beach; Kanuku Mountains and the Kaieteur National Park were gazetted as protected areas.
“The commission has been developed, to achieve that balance as set out in the LCDS, and to ensure that we (country), comply with international standards,” he said.
Minister Persaud however, has given assurance that due to significant work embarked upon by government at the community and national levels, Guyana stands ready to develop further mechanisms, to benefit from additional incentives.
“This workshop is timely, as a well managed ecosystem can provide valuable resources for a country. It is also important as it comes at the eve of the RIO +20 conference to be held in Brazil later this year,” Minister Persaud.
Winrock International representative, Katie Goslee stated that the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), which focuses on climate change (among other areas), has been working with the GFC, since 2010, to assist in the development of the MRV system under the REDD + initiative.
Thus far, Goslee stated that several projects have been completed, since collaboration with the Forestry Commission, such as the Change Assessment for Forest areas; identification of Land Use Changes, as well as the development of a National Forest Carbon Monitoring System.
“Apart from the many successes of the collaboration, we are in the process of developing carbon emission factors, as the PES will be incorporated in Guyana’s National Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation systems,” she said.
Meanwhile, Annette Arjoon-Martins touched on the importance of conservation and biodiversity with respect to natural resources, stating that Guyana has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources, and as such they must be protected and preserved.
“When local communities are empowered to become stewards for their natural resources, it is the best effort, in my opinion, that a country can make,” she said.
Challenges and successes of community-based monitoring of ecosystem services; water shield services; potential markets and buyers to tap into future plans for forest ecosystem services in Guyana and Guyanese livelihood concerns are among the issues to be addressed during the workshop.
The workshop is also being conducted as part of the MRVs roadmap.
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