Guyana has one of the highest proportions of forest cover in the world and has a low rate of deforestation. The annual deforestation rate was 0.02% in the period 1990-2009, and increased to 0.079% in 2012.
Drivers of deforestation and degradation
Mining is the largest driver of deforestation. It accounted for about 93% of all deforestation in 2010-2011. Other contributors to forest loss and degradation are logging, agricultural expansion, charcoal production and urban development.
To control deforestation and forest degradation, Guyana aims to:
- Strengthen forestry and mining regulations
- Improve forest management
- Expand the multiple uses of forests to promote alternative economic activities while reducing pressure on forests
- Improve land use planning and coordination
- Intensify agricultural production
- Consolidate and strengthen land and user rights
REDD+ actors and activities
The following institutions lead Guyana's REDD+ process, in the context of its Low Carbon Development Strategy:
- The Office of Climate Change is the lead institution, overseeing all activities related to climate change
- The REDD+ Secretariat, within Guyana's Forestry Commission, is the key operational body
- The REDD+ National Working Group is a multistakeholder body, established to ensure transparency and lead the consultation process
- The National Toshaos Council ensures involvement and communication with Amerindian communities
In 2009, Norway agreed to provide Guyana with USD 250 million by 2015 for results achieved in limiting emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. By 2014, Norway had channelled more than USD 100 million through the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund to finance projects under Guyana's Low Carbon Development Strategy. Disbursement problems have, however, delayed the approval and implementation of these projects.
Guyana is also a beneficiary of the World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and a partner country of UN-REDD.
Status of FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA)
In 2012, Guyana and the EU began negotiations towards a VPA to improve forest governance and ensure that only legal timber and timber products reach the EU market.
For more information, see the Guyana page on the EU FLEGT Facility's website.