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– but World Bank says capacity “very low” to manage climate funds From Neil Marks in ArgentinaGuyana is among three countries that are first to benefit from World Bank funding of US$3.5 million to help prepare a strategy to fight climate change.The money will go towards helping Guyana implement pilot projects to show how it will use funds it could receive from the international community if a new climate deal in Copenhagen this December includes a mechanism to reward countries for reducing deforestation and forest degradation, or what is called REDD.However, Advisor on Forests at the World Bank, Gerhard Dieterle, says that Guyana’s capacity to manage funds that could flow from a REDD mechanism is “very low.”Dieterle, who spoke to Kaieteur News at the World Forestry Congress in Buenos Aires, said that the two-year process of consultations and implementation of the pilot projects could help to correct this deficiency.The programme under which Guyana is benefiting from the World Bank is called the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. It assists developing countries in their efforts to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Land Degradation, REDD.It has the two-fold objective of building capacity for REDD in developing countries,Doug Flutie Bills Jersey, and testing a programme of performance-based incentive payments in some pilot countries, on a relatively small scale,Detroit Lions Throwback Jersey, in order to set the stage for a much larger system of positive incentives and financing flows in the future.Two separate mechanisms have been set up to support FCPF objectives. The first is the readiness mechanism, which Guyana is already benefiting from in the preparation of the Low Carbon Development Strategy.The readiness mechanism is helping 37 interested developing countries to arrive at a credible estimate of their national forest carbon stocks and sources of forest emissions, as well as assist the counties in defining their reference scenario,Mesut Ozil Jersey, based on past emission rates for future emissions estimates.The Readiness Mechanism offers these countries technical assistance in calculating opportunity costs of possible REDD interventions,Richard Dent Bears Jersey, and designing an adapted REDD strategy that takes into account country priorities and constraints.The Carbon finance mechanism, from which only a few countries will benefit,Merril Hoge Steelers Jersey, will implement and evaluate pilot incentive programmes for REDD based on a system of compensated reductions.The selected countries, having demonstrated ownership on REDD and adequate monitoring capacity and having established a credible reference scenario and options for reducing emissions will receive payments for reducing emissions below the reference scenario.The structure of these incentive payments will build on the options for REDD that are currently being discussed within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process,Patrice Evra Jersey, with payments made to help address the causes of deforestation and degradation.Within the Carbon Finance Mechanism, payments will only be made to countries that achieve measurable and verifiable emission reductions.Together, these two mechanisms seek to learn lessons from first-of-a kind operations and develop a realistic and cost-effective large new instrument for tackling deforestation, to help safeguard the earth’s climate, reduce poverty, manage freshwater resources, and protect biodiversity.However, it is important to note that the Facility itself is not a panacea to “save the world’s forests.” Rather, it seeks to create an enabling environment and garner a body of knowledge and experiences that can facilitate development of a much larger global programme of incentives for REDD over the medium term (5-10 years).The targeted volume of the facility is approximately US$385 million.
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