Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) is a framework intended to map the path of a new growth trajectory in a non-polluting way. Tropical forest countries have long called for the ecosystem services provided by the world’s standing tropical forests to be properly valued, through both public and private finance. This will enable people who live in forests and forest countries to create jobs and economic opportunity from an economy that works with nature, instead of today’s reality where forests are often worth more dead than alive.

The new LCDS 2030 focuses on harnessing Guyana’s unique advantages to create a new low-carbon economy, built on the platform provided by the MRVS and other areas of enhanced capacity in Guyana. It will create a new low-carbon economy in Guyana by establishing incentives which value the world’s ecosystem services, and promoting these as an essential component of a new model of global development with sustainability at its core. Low-carbon Development Strategy – the LCDS 2030 – sets out a vision for rising to the challenge.

The current and first draft is intended as the basis for a national consultation on how Guyana can re-double their efforts to build a low-carbon economy in the country and through low-carbon energy they can achieve employment and development opportunities for all sections of the society, a transformation of digital, marine and transportation infrastructure and massive investment in adapting to the impacts of climate change. The LCDS 2030 also sets out how the country can build a platform for the economy of the future – a low- carbon economy – where their world-class forest, biodiversity, water and marine resources are valued for the vital contribution they make to the health of the planet.

The LCDS 2030 continues to propel Guyana on a pathway that started in 2008, when they were the world’s first developing country to publish a Low-carbon Development Strategy. They decided to manage their own oil and gas sector responsibly for the benefit of all Guyanese under their first Low-carbon Development Strategy. The three objectives set out in 2009 continue to provide a guiding framework and have been enhanced based on knowledge gained since then, as well as new opportunities created by international progress, those were; Forest Climate Services and other Ecosystem Services, Stimulate future growth through clean energy and sustainable economic activities. In the LCDS 2030, a new objective has been introduced, which s to protect against climate change and align with global climate goals.
The LCDS 2030 sets out how to accelerate the achievement of these four objectives. In determining how to do this, planning for sustainable development is the core principle that guides the LCDS 2030. This means promoting development and stimulating future growth for all of Guyana’s people through a balance across Human Capital, Financial Capital, Physical Capital and Natural Capital. Guyana plans to create an ecosystems economy which will balance low-impact mining and forestry to enhance employment and income generation opportunities, forest climate services through which the value provided by Guyana’s forests to the world is recognised and lastly Guyana’s next generation of ecosystem services such as water management, and biodiversity protection.

As part of its strategy to grow the low-carbon economy, Guyana will focus on integrating ecosystem services into the global economy, as the LCDS approaches development from an ecosystems approach, with Forestry and Biodiversity Protection integrated into LCDS 2030. Interventions such as expansion and restoration of Guyana’s mangrove forests and ecosystems, Strengthening and expanding Guyana’s National Protected Area System and Maintenance of intact forest landscapes and watersheds will be included in LCDS 2030.

Guyana places great importance on the sustainable use and conservation of marine resources. In this regard, Guyana joined with other world leaders in signing on to the Global Oceans Alliance. The LCDS plans to support the protection and low-carbon development of marine and coastal ecosystems. The country has planned to approach carbon market integration in the period 2021 to 2030 in two phases.
The first phase will be from 2021 to 2025, in which Guyana will generate credits to be traded on voluntary carbon marketplaces, with independent verification of the quality of those credits and their adherence to the rules of the marketplaces. Followed by the second phase which will be from 2025 to 2030 in which, Guyana will enhance the quality of its credits further through establishing a national carbon registry, integrated with international markets and with any future REDD+ mechanism under the UNFCCC.
Fostering sustainable development in the Hinterland and vulnerable areas is one of the core priority outcomes of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) as it will seek to strengthen sea and river defence systems, improve flood control and water management, address drought prevention, implement climate smart initiatives, strengthen institutions such as the NDIA, Sea Defence, hydrometeorological Department, etc. and improve response capability for climate events.

Furthermore, the LCDS also plans to promote gender equality and social inclusion mainstreaming in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, including disaster risk management.

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