Tomado de www.stabroeknews. Del 28 de noviembre
Guyana and Suriname could cash in on carbon credit market for rainforest preservation
Guyana could earn more than US$57M annually in carbon credits as the international community seeks to step up the preservation of rainforests as a means of responding to worsening global environmental conditions, according to a recent World Wildlife Fund report released by its secretariat in Georgetown. And according to the report neighbouring Suriname could earn more than three times that amount in carbon credits in view of its larger areas of Cash for conservation: A section of Guyana’s rainforest
According to the report – which suggests that the estimate of potential carbon credit earnings by the two countries is conservative – both Guyana and Suriname possess considerable amounts of standing forests “which are a significant store of carbon and as such stand to gain from those who would purchase carbon credits for standing forests with significant carbon storage.” However, the report points out that the international market for carbon credits is “at a juvenile stage” since international experts are still gathering scientific evidence and formulating frameworks and protocols to support a structure for trade in carbon credits.
The term ‘carbon credits’ describes a regime of payments by countries, predominantly rich, industrialized countries, to others to retain standing forests to absorb or prevent the release of carbon generated by industrial activity into the atmosphere. “Purchasing these carbon offsets or carbon credits is now being considered by a growing number of companies and countries in order to compensate for their own emissions to reduce their own carbon footprints,” the report says.
According to the WWF report the global market for carbon has exceeded US$100B despite the global financial crisis. “In 2009 the market is expected to be expanded even further driven by tighter targets in Europe, higher carbon prices and increased maturing.”
Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo has advocated the application of carbon credits as a mechanism for preserving standing forests in developing countries without negatively affecting development in poor countries. According to the report the move by Guyana to commit its rainforests to the global storehouse of carbon offsets “is possibly one of the reasons why Guyana was chosen to be one of thirteen countries to receive assistance in capacity development in carbon credits.”
According to the report developing a carbon credit capacity will ultimately depend on the capacity of forest countries to protect their environmental treasure troves from indiscriminate harvesting. Managing carbon emissions is one of the fastest growing financial services in the United Kingdom and according to the WWF report, banking sources in London assert that “carbon will be the world’s biggest commodity market and it could become the world’s biggest market overall.”
Carbon credits and our forests
Tomado de www.stabroeknews.com del 28 de noviembre de 2008
If the portents of the recent World Wildlife Fund Report on carbon credits are anything to go by it would clearly be in Guyana’s interest the undertake a comprehensive rethink of the role of our forests in the country’s development. Historically, the economic value of our forests has been measured in terms that have had to do with their depletion, that is, the cutting and selling of our forests as raw timber and to a much lesser extent as processed timber and other value-added products.
The global focus on climate change − which we are told is probably the single greatest international emergency − has placed an altogether different perspective on the value of forests. Preserving them as a storehouse for carbons that contribute to devastating climate change is, we are told, the way to go.
What this means in essence is that considerations of national economic gain from forest products have now become intertwined with the global focus on preserving rainforests as a means of preserving the planet itself; and, we are told, the situation has become sufficiently urgent to cause large companies and developed countries to be inclined to pay well for the preservation of those large tracts of rainforest that remain standing in order to seek to arrest – or at least reduce – the volume of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.
The short-term projected carbon credit earnings – projected in the WWF report at just over $US50M annually is by no means earth-shattering. It is the future, however, that appears more encouraging. The estimated global carbon market is believed to be somewhere in the region of around $US100B, though it has to be said – and the WWF report makes this clear − that research into methods of measuring carbon credits and developing the various procedures and protocols for creating a structured carbon market are still in a more-or-less “juvenile” stage.Be that as it may, it is clear that a point has long been reached where experts are entirely convinced that revisiting the role of forests is critical to combating climate change.
For countries like Guyana, of course, the challenge lies in embracing the role of forests as a strategic weapon in the fight against climate change, while contemplating the adjustments that this commitment will necessitate in terms of the traditional role of forests as a money earner, and the dependence of families on earnings from the forestry sector in a situation of prevailing high unemployment.
Some of the indicators in terms of the potential earning capacity of forest countries from carbon credits are good. For example, the WWF report indicates that the value of carbon markets continues to grow even in the face of the current global economic crisis while the banking community in Europe already envisages a time when carbon will become the world’s biggest commodity market.
All of this, of course, is somewhat futuristic, though it has to be said that in this case it is the pace at which the world’s environmental resources are being depleted rather than the pace at which political leaders choose to move that will ultimately determine the pace at which the international carbon market develops.
Here in Guyana there is evidence that President Bharrat Jagdeo has been paying a measure of interest in the evolving global debate on climate change and the role of carbon markets, and one can even argue that he has been part of that global debate. Here at home, however, where the process of public education is usually much slower, relatively little is generally known about the international discourses on carbon credits despite the obvious importance of this issue to the forestry sector, the business community, the national economy and the country as a whole. Down the road, questions could arise about issues like a possible significant reduction – or perhaps even a total cessation of traditional economic activity in the forestry sector and ways in which the carbon credits that we accumulate in exchange for our commitment to forestry conservation will be used to offset loss of earnings by the individuals and industries that depend on that sector; and in the face of what is likely to be a scarcity of forests for timber and other wood products is there not likely to be a greater demand for timber and a consequential huge responsibility on the part of governments that have committed their forest resources to carbon credits to protect those forests from the illegal felling of trees?
These are of course simplified arguments in what is a much more complex global discourse. However, at the end of the day, closely following the global discourse on carbon credits, and, more importantly, simplifying and sharing information with the society as a whole, ought to be the real focus of government and those various other organizations concerned with issues pertaining to climate change and the environment.
Nota del editor del Blog: el debate sobre la protección ambiental está planteado en Venezuela Y Guyana sin embargo su Presidente Bharrat Jagdeo se debate entre dos corrientes por un lado acepta y promueve la iniciativa para la Integración de Infraestructura Regional en Sur América (IIRSA). Del cual el benéfico será escaso.
Que propone una serie de mega-proyectos de alto riesgo que traerán como consecuencia un tremendo endeudamiento y alteraciones extensivas a los paisajes y las formas de vida en la región . Especialmente en la Guayana Esequiba (al partirla en dos con la construcción de una carretera en sentido este-oeste o viceversa, mas la infinidad de concesiones mineras y madereras entregas en esa zona) ubicada al oeste del río Esequibo que reclama Venezuela, sustentado por el Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966, firmado por Venezuela, La Gran Bretaña y los Representantes de la Antigua Colonia de la Guayana Británica.
Por el otro lado el Presidente Bharrat en una evidente Contradicción pide “Que Inglaterra salve nuestra selva" ver artículo de la BBC en http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/specials/2008/amazonas/newsid_7384000/7384288.stm, o en el Universal http://www.eluniversal.com/2008/07/07/pol_art_preocupa-cesion-de-l_935870.shtml