Two articles from Janette Bulkan, published in the Commonwealth Forestry Association Newsletter looking at logging and illegal logging in Guyana.
In January 2011, Guyana’s then-Junior Minister of Forestry Robert Persaud announced that the forest sector in Guyana was 99% legal. A recent series of articles by Janette Bulkan questions the veracity of Persaud’s statement.
REDD-Monitor is requesting your help to find the best REDD stories contained in the US Embassy Cables that WikiLeaks released last week. WikiLeaks started releasing edited versions of the cables in November 2010, since when the cables have been trickling out. On 31 August 2011, WikiLeaks released 251,287 US Embassy cables. Unredacted.
Many of the countries hoping to implement REDD are riddled with corruption, illegal logging and a failure to respect land rights and indigenous peoples’ rights. The forestry ministries in these countries are often among the most corrupt institutions in the government.
On 10 June 2011, the Norwegian government responded to the Open Letter sent on 24 March 2011. While the Open Letter raised eight problems with Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy, the vast majority of the discussion generated by the letter focussed on the signatories to the letter rather than the problems they were raising.
On 24 March 2011, members of Guyanese civil society and two Members of Parliament sent a letter to Erik Solheim, Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development. The letter raised “eight key problems with the operation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of Guyana and Norway”.
Yesterday, I wrote that the writers of the Open Letter outlining eight problems with Norway’s REDD support to Guyana were still waiting for a response from Erik Solheim, Norway’s Minister of the Environment. Within a couple of hours of posting, REDD-Monitor received a copy of a letter from Erik Solheim. His letter is extraordinary on several counts, but most importantly, it fails to address the eight problems in the Open Letter.
On 25 March 2011, members of civil society and two Members of Guyana’s Parliament sent a letter to Erik Solheim, Norway’s Minister of the Environment & International Development. The letter outlines eight key problems with the operation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of Guyana and Norway, which was signed in November 2009.
Yesterday, Greenpeace released a report titled, “Bad Influence: How McKinsey-inspired plans lead to rainforest destruction.” The report highlights how advice from McKinsey & Co., one of the world’s top consulting firms, will result in an increase in the destructive logging it is, in theory at least, supposed to prevent.
Next week, Erik Solheim, Norway’s Minister of the Environment & International Development, will be visiting Guyana. A year ago, Solheim congratulated Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo when he was awarded the United Nations’ 2010 Champion of the Earth. Solheim described Jagdeo’s promotion of low carbon development as “an example for others to follow.”
The access road to the Amaila Falls hydropower dam in Guyana’s forest is already under construction. The project is one of those listed in President Bharrat Jagdeo’s Low Carbon Development Strategy. Potential financiers of the hydropower project include the China Development Bank, the China Railway First Group, the InterAmerican Development Bank and the Norwegian Government.
“The world is looking for a great example somewhere,” Jan Hartke, a consultant to the Clinton Foundation wrote in June 2009. “Wonderfully enough,” he continued, “President Jagdeo’s leadership has quite honestly inspired people around the world, and you really need leadership on something like this if we are able to get progress in Copenhagen. He will be able to show how other countries can follow the emergent Guyana model.”
Guyana’s president, Bharrat Jagdeo, hit the headlines during COP-16 for his “Show me the money,” speech at a side event organised by Avoided Deforestation Partners. “Although we have fulfilled the condition to receive payment from Norway a year ago,” Jagdeo said, “we have not seen a single cent expended as yet on the projects that are so vital to transformation.”