Economic incentives vital for development of the Guiana Shield- Dr Odeen Ishmael

Commentary: Economic incentives vital for development of the Guiana Shield
Published on August 25, 2016 
http://www.caribbeannewsnow.co...na-Shield-31537.html

By Dr Odeen Ishmael

The fourth international congress on the biodiversity of the Guiana Shield, sponsored by the International Biodiversity Society of the Guiana Shield (IBG) in conjunction with the Guyana government, was held during August 8-12 in Georgetown, Guyana.

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Dr Odeen Ishmael, Ambassador Emeritus (retired), historian and author, served as Guyana’s ambassador in the USA (1993-2003), Venezuela 2003-2011) and Kuwait and Qatar (2011-2014). He actively participated in meetings of UNASUR from 2003 to 2010 and has written extensively on South American integration issues. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow of the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs.
In his address to the forum on April 8, Guyana’s President David Granger proposed a three-pronged approach to be adopted for the effective protection and preservation of the Guiana Shield. That approach, he said, must include the establishment of a scientific research institute, the setting up of strong mechanisms for data and information sharing, and adequate investment and funding.

President Granger said that the scientific community, governments, non-governmental organizations and communities must forge partnerships to protect the Shield’s biodiversity, while allowing states to leverage its high endemicity, cultural diversity and intact ecosystems for inclusive growth and secure futures.

The Guiana Shield

The Guiana Shield is a 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian geological formation in northeast South America. The higher elevations are the Guiana Highlands, with flat-topped mountains and are the source of some of the world's most spectacular waterfalls such as Angel Falls and Kaieteur Falls. The Shield underlies Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana (Guyane) as well as parts of Brazil and Colombia. It has one of the highest biodiversity in the world, and is the natural habitat of numerous endemic species of mammals, fresh water fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and insects.

It also sustains one of the largest blocks of primary tropical rain forest worldwide as well as an eco-region with very high biodiversity levels. With 90 percent covered with intact rainforest, it plays a critical role in mitigating climate change and in water regulation of the Amazon, Essequibo and Orinoco basins.

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Map showing the Guiana Shield (Source:quoteco.com)

As part of the wider Amazonian rain forest, its protected areas include the Iwokrama Rain Forest of central Guyana, Kaieteur National Park, Kanuku National Park of southern Guyana, the Central Suriname Nature Reserve of Suriname, the Guiana Amazonian Park in French Guiana, the Tumucumaque National Park in Brazil’s Amapá State, and the Canaima, Parima-Tapirapeco and Neblina National Parks of Venezuela. In 2014, Colombia designated a 250 hectare area of its section of the Guiana Shield as a protected wetland.

IIRSA projects for the Guiana Shield

As far back as 2006, the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA) unit of UNASUR mapped out an ambitious road project for the Guiana Shield “hub” involving the infrastructural integration of eastern Venezuela (the states of Sucre, Anzoátegui, Monagas, Delta Amacuro and Bolívar), northern Brazil (the states of Amapá and Roraima), and the entire territory of Guyana and Suriname as well as French Guiana.

Part of this plan also includes a highway linking Ciudad Guayana in eastern Venezuela and Linden in Guyana. The overall objective is to spur economic development in areas linked by this integration plan, which apparently remains in dormancy over the past three years.

With an estimated area of 2.7 million square kilometers and a population of about 22 million, the Guiana Shield maintains a very low population density of just about 5 persons per square kilometer, and is one of the least developed areas in South America. Even so, it has significant urban centers such as Manaos, Macapá, Boa Vista, Paramaribo, Georgetown, Ciudad Guayana and Ciudad Bolívar.

Economic sub-regions of the Shield

The Shield has two markedly different economic sub-regions, one with value-added production and relatively high population density, and the other, with abundant natural resources and a low population density. The more active economic section is located in eastern Venezuela with its petroleum industry and steel, aluminum and other manufacturing plants. The lesser developed area, which includes Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and the Brazilian states of Amapá and Roraima, is developing at a slower pace with low value-added activities and contributes only about 12 percent of the hub's GDP.

Nevertheless, the lesser developed area has, overall, an immense development potential with its mineral, hydrocarbon, forest, and fishing resources, as well as immense hydroelectric capability and very large areas of under-exploited arable land. The territory also includes the Amazon ecosystems, vast savannahs, numerous rivers, waterfalls, mountains and a lengthy Atlantic and Caribbean coast, which demonstrate a huge tourism potential.

The integration of the road transportation infrastructure will no doubt boost development at various geographical nodal points within the Guyana Shield hub. Already, with better road and river links between Manaos and other Brazilian population centers, that city has boosted its production of processed food, electronic goods, motorbikes and automobiles.

A free zone has been established and the city now has a population of more than a million with several universities and research centers. Its growth, undoubtedly, has helped to generate economic development in the hinterland state of Roraima.

Clearly, the Guyana government hopes that a similar pattern in the future can develop in the Rupununi region (bordering Brazil) as permanent road links are established with Brazil via the bridge across the Takutu River and, ultimately, the completion of the interior highway from Lethem to Linden and Georgetown.

It is obvious that the IIRSA communication plan for the Guiana Shield countries cannot be fulfilled in the short-term. But a start has already been made, and incremental implementation is expected to follow. Ultimately, the political commitment of the respective governments will determine how successful it will be.

REDD+ for the Guiana Shield

Currently, the countries of the Guiana Shield are pursuing policies that emphasize the importance of establishing biodiversity corridors to avoid landscape fragmentation and loss of species and habitats for biodiversity. At the same time, these policies are aimed at protecting the rights of the indigenous Amerindians to their territories and of access to their natural resources, in order to preserve their livelihoods and cultures.

Until the end of the twentieth century, the Guiana Shield forests were under little threat in comparison with other tropical forests. However, demographic and economic growth has resulted in increasing pressures on natural ecosystems. Since governments prefer to advance national development in a sustainable manner, they have shown strong interest in the United Nations Collaborative Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) as a mechanism that would enable to financially value their efforts by acquiring carbon revenues. This program was launched in 2008.

The project, “REDD+ for the Guiana Shield,” was initiated, at first by Guyana, Suriname, France (for French Guiana), and the Brazilian state of Amapá. It aims at preventing deforestation and degradation, in the framework of the REDD+ mechanism.

REDD+ for the Guiana Shield is funded by the Regional Development European Fund (FEDER) through the Interreg IV Caraibes program (1.26 million euros), the French Global Environmental Facility (1 million euros), the French Guiana Region (90,000 euros), as well as by the project partners own contributions.

Guyana-Norway forest agreement

In Guyana’s case, the country was promised US$250 million under the multi-year forest protection agreement with Norway signed in 2009. This was shortly after Guyana established the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), under the presidency of Bharrat Jagdeo, to fashion by 2020 a new low carbon economy geared at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and promoting economic and cultural projects to minimize the effects of climate change.

By 2015, Guyana was credited with over $190 million from this arrangement, $70 million of which has been deposited into the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF). A sum of $5.8 million was disbursed to the Guyana Forestry Commission to assist with development of the monitoring, reporting and verification system, and $80 million has been directly transferred to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the government’s equity in the Amaila Falls hydro-electric project -- a project forming an integral part of the LCDS -- which was unfortunately jettisoned by the new government that came to power in May 2015. A further $40 million is pending having been announced in May 2015.

More recently, the Guyana government has stated its interest in resuscitating the hydro-electric project but has also revealed that it will lose US$18 million from the agreement with Norway. This financial loss comes as a result of penalties for not meeting certain indicators specified in the agreement; and also from losses due to adjustments in the exchange rate between the Norwegian kroner and the US dollar.

Need for investment

The sustainable development of the area encompassing the Guiana Shield should be a priority for the countries of that geographical region. Significantly, the area provides essential environmental services to all of humanity and incentives are vital to ensure that these countries maintain keep their forests in a pristine state.

As President Granger said during his address to the international congress, the absence of investment will place pressures on the governments of the Shield, particularly the three smallest states, if they move to exploit the region’s natural resources. The developed countries must realize the necessity of the sustainable development of this region and their inputs in the form of tangible investments can go a long way to prevent any deforestation and destructive mining, while at the same time deter damaging effects on the biodiversity of the area.
Original Post
Sunil posted:
Commentary: Economic incentives vital for development of the Guiana Shield
Published on August 25, 2016 
http://www.caribbeannewsnow.co...na-Shield-31537.html

By Dr Odeen Ishmael

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As President Granger said during his address to the international congress, the absence of investment will place pressures on the governments of the Shield, particularly the three smallest states, if they move to exploit the region’s natural resources. The developed countries must realize the necessity of the sustainable development of this region and their inputs in the form of tangible investments can go a long way to prevent any deforestation and destructive mining, while at the same time deter damaging effects on the biodiversity of the area.

A comprehensive and informative explanation of the issues in the regions, especially in Guyana.

Granger should know the reasons for the lack of investments under his government.

Demerara_Guy posted:
 

A comprehensive and informative explanation of the issues in the regions, especially in Guyana.

Granger should know the reasons for the lack of investments under his government.

This former PPP leader spoke about how undeveloped this region is, most especially the Guyana section.  Suriname has an aluminum production.

So can you tell me why you demand that in 15  months Granger produces investments when in 23 years the PPP failed to do so?  Instead letting Chinese rape our resources for a few cents, jeopardizing the ecology of the area.

caribny posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:

A comprehensive and informative explanation of the issues in the regions, especially in Guyana.

Granger should know the reasons for the lack of investments under his government.

This former PPP leader spoke about how undeveloped this region is, most especially the Guyana section.  Suriname has an aluminum production.

So can you tell me why you demand that in 15  months Granger produces investments when in 23 years the PPP failed to do so?  Instead letting Chinese rape our resources for a few cents, jeopardizing the ecology of the area.

Perhaps, Granger will continue to do nothing for the next four years, except perhaps to increase their salaries by at least 50% annually.

Demerara_Guy posted:
..

Perhaps, Granger will continue to do nothing for the next four years, except perhaps to increase their salaries by at least 50% annually.

http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....%80%99s-is-us127109/

Perhaps Jagdeo can explain why he unilaterally offered himself a pension bigger than what Obama will get.

And don't come with your usual "irrelevant" discussion because we are talking about remuneration of gov't officials.

caribny posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:

Perhaps, Granger will continue to do nothing for the next four years, except perhaps to increase their salaries by at least 50% annually.

http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....%80%99s-is-us127109/

Perhaps Jagdeo can explain why he unilaterally offered himself a pension bigger than what Obama will get.

And don't come with your usual "irrelevant" discussion because we are talking about remuneration of gov't officials.

You choice to can pursue and learn the reasons.

Of note, this item was publicly addressed and which stated that the said ration in pension is similar to what Granger will obtain when he retires.

Demerara_Guy posted:
.

Of note, this item was publicly addressed and which stated that the said ration in pension is similar to what Granger will obtain when he retires.

Great.  So Granger should thank Jagdeo for getting an outrageous pension.

I wonder if you all PPP frauds will start screaming when in 4 years we hear what this is?

The fact that Jagdeo pulls this stunt makes him look like a hypocrite when he criticizes similar self serving behavior by APNU AFC.

caribny posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:

Of note, this item was publicly addressed and which stated that the said ration in pension is similar to what Granger will obtain when he retires.

Great.  So Granger should thank Jagdeo for getting an outrageous pension.

I wonder if you all PPP frauds will start screaming when in 4 years we hear what this is?

The fact that Jagdeo pulls this stunt makes him look like a hypocrite when he criticizes similar self serving behavior by APNU AFC.

Absolutely not, despite your erroneous and ensuing statements.

Quite simple, when you find the relevant government coverage on this item, you will understand the process and decisions.

Demerara_Guy posted:
.

Quite simple, when you find the relevant government coverage on this item, you will understand the process and decisions.

Oh I understand this fully well. Jagdeo was greedy and thought that he owned all of Guyana so gave himself a pension bigger than what the PM of T&T and The Bahamas get, even though Guyana is poorer than Dominica.

Then he has the gall to scream about what equally greedy people do when they gain power.

When Jagdeo refuses to accept his pension, and only gets paid the Leader of opposition salary, at 2014 levels, then he cam scream and wail about the 50%.

http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....%80%99s-is-us127109/

caribny posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:

Quite simple, when you find the relevant government coverage on this item, you will understand the process and decisions.

Oh I understand this fully well. Jagdeo was greedy and thought that he owned all of Guyana so gave himself a pension bigger than what the PM of T&T and The Bahamas get, even though Guyana is poorer than Dominica.

Then he has the gall to scream about what equally greedy people do when they gain power.

When Jagdeo refuses to accept his pension, and only gets paid the Leader of opposition salary, at 2014 levels, then he cam scream and wail about the 50%.

http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....%80%99s-is-us127109/

Again, simple matter ....

In the specific situation, Bharrat Jagdeo has the option to either accept his pension or the salary for Leader of the Opposition.

Bharrat Jagdeo choose to accept his pension of $$ 1.4 M dollars.

Of note ... when Moses Nagamootoo leaves office his pension will be -- about $$ 1.7M dollars -- far more grater than what Bharrat Jagdeo is/will be receiving.

Demerara_Guy posted:
 

Again, simple matter ....

In the specific situation, Bharrat Jagdeo has the option to either accept his pension or the salary for Leader of the Opposition.

Bharrat Jagdeo choose to accept his pension of $$ 1.4 M dollars.

Of note ... when Moses Nagamootoo leaves office his pension will be -- about $$ 1.7M dollars -- far more grater than what Bharrat Jagdeo is/will be receiving.

1.  If Jagdeo was really concerned about the pay that Guyanese politicians get, he would have exercised his option to suspend his pension, and accept the 2014 leader of opposition salary and perks.  He didn't, which then deprives him of the right to criticize the 50% pay increase.

2.  Nagamootoo will also get an outsized pension because of what Jagdeo "negotiated".  Jagdeo set the precedent for this.

3. Jagdeo is an idiot.  If he refused his pension, until he retired and then accepted only the 2014 Leader of opposition salary, given the rage of APNU AFC supporters, he could have made big inroads into that group.  He could have shown, that, regardless of past behavior by the PPP, that they have learned their lesson, and be respectful of Guyanese.  This would have exposed APNU AFC has self serving.

But we now have APNU AFC engaged in the same behavior as Jagdeo did.  So really why the Jagdeo screams.

Now I know that the PPP is a dictatorship, and you all are afraid to condemn your leader.  Be like APNU AFC supporters, who called the 50% what it is. A heist.  A heist just like Jagdeo's extravagant pension.

caribny posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:

Again, simple matter ....

In the specific situation, Bharrat Jagdeo has the option to either accept his pension or the salary for Leader of the Opposition.

Bharrat Jagdeo choose to accept his pension of $$ 1.4 M dollars.

Of note ... when Moses Nagamootoo leaves office his pension will be -- about $$ 1.7M dollars -- far more grater than what Bharrat Jagdeo is/will be receiving.

1.  If Jagdeo was really concerned about the pay that Guyanese politicians get, he would have exercised his option to suspend his pension, and accept the 2014 leader of opposition salary and perks.  He didn't, which then deprives him of the right to criticize the 50% pay increase.

2.  Nagamootoo will also get an outsized pension because of what Jagdeo "negotiated".  Jagdeo set the precedent for this.

3. Jagdeo is an idiot.  If he refused his pension, until he retired and then accepted only the 2014 Leader of opposition salary, given the rage of APNU AFC supporters, he could have made big inroads into that group.  He could have shown, that, regardless of past behavior by the PPP, that they have learned their lesson, and be respectful of Guyanese.  This would have exposed APNU AFC has self serving.

But we now have APNU AFC engaged in the same behavior as Jagdeo did.  So really why the Jagdeo screams.

Now I know that the PPP is a dictatorship, and you all are afraid to condemn your leader.  Be like APNU AFC supporters, who called the 50% what it is. A heist.  A heist just like Jagdeo's extravagant pension.

Unfortunately and as usual, irrelevant comments to the specific issue on salary and pension benefits.

Demerara_Guy posted:
caribny posted:
 

Now I know that the PPP is a dictatorship, and you all are afraid to condemn your leader.  Be like APNU AFC supporters, who called the 50% what it is. A heist.  A heist just like Jagdeo's extravagant pension.

Unfortunately and as usual, irrelevant comments to the specific issue on salary and pension benefits.

While you condemn the 50% pay increase and justify Jagdeo's scandalous pension you make my point.  As a PPP person you are scared to comment on Jagdeo, unless it is to bow down and venerate him.

Learn from APNU AFC supporters who are very vocal against actions by the government that they voted for when that gov't does things that they don't like.

caribny posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:
caribny posted:
 

Now I know that the PPP is a dictatorship, and you all are afraid to condemn your leader.  Be like APNU AFC supporters, who called the 50% what it is. A heist.  A heist just like Jagdeo's extravagant pension.

Unfortunately and as usual, irrelevant comments to the specific issue on salary and pension benefits.

While you condemn the 50% pay increase and justify Jagdeo's scandalous pension you make my point.  As a PPP person you are scared to comment on Jagdeo, unless it is to bow down and venerate him.

Learn from APNU AFC supporters who are very vocal against actions by the government that they voted for when that gov't does things that they don't like.

True dat!

caribny posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:
caribny posted:

Now I know that the PPP is a dictatorship, and you all are afraid to condemn your leader.  Be like APNU AFC supporters, who called the 50% what it is. A heist.  A heist just like Jagdeo's extravagant pension.

Unfortunately and as usual, irrelevant comments to the specific issue on salary and pension benefits.

While you condemn the 50% pay increase and justify Jagdeo's scandalous pension you make my point.  As a PPP person you are scared to comment on Jagdeo, unless it is to bow down and venerate him.

Learn from APNU AFC supporters who are very vocal against actions by the government that they voted for when that gov't does things that they don't like.

Continuation of your highly inaccurate comments plus bellowing nonsense.

Demerara_Guy posted:
..  As a PPP person you are scared to comment on Jagdeo, unless it is to bow down and venerate him.

.

Continuation of your highly inaccurate comments plus bellowing nonsense.

I feel your pain.  You saw what happened to Ramjattan, Nagamootoo and Ramkarran, who dared say that the PPP wasn't perfect.  Forced to flee and now are called neemakaram, and Congo Lovers, among other insults.

caribny posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:
..  As a PPP person you are scared to comment on Jagdeo, unless it is to bow down and venerate him.

Continuation of your highly inaccurate comments plus bellowing nonsense.

I feel your pain.  You saw what happened to Ramjattan, Nagamootoo and Ramkarran, who dared say that the PPP wasn't perfect.  Forced to flee and now are called neemakaram, and Congo Lovers, among other insults.

Irrelevant and unrelated comments, as usual.

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