Friday, March 28, 2008

The Iwokrama carbon deal

A historic deal was just concluded between Iwokrama and a UK-based investor - a real achievement by Guyana and by Iwokrama.

From the Stabroek News article:
"For the first time investors will pay for the ecosystem services produced by a rainforest, including rainfall generation, climate regulation, biodiversity maintenance and water storage - utilities with global significance which are vanishing as forests fall," Iwokrama's Chairman Edward Glover said in a statement. The deal was first reported in yesterday's edition of the Independent newspaper in the UK.

And the significance is underlined by the fact that it has warranted an article in New Scientist:
Hylton Murray-Philipson, director of the UK-based financiers Canopy Capital, has signed a deal with Iwokrama guaranteeing a "meaningful" contribution to their running costs for five years, a deal which may be renewed.

In return for these funds, Canopy Capital is given "ownership" of the forest's ecosystems services and a claim on any profits that might one day be made from them.

Well done Iwokrama and Canopy Capital!

See also:
Mongabay article

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More on biofuel

Two conflicting news items prompted me to blog this. On the BBC news site there is an item about the Indian Finance Minister criticizing the conversion of crops into biofuel by developing countries. I can see his point of view but ...

Here in Guyana I heard comments by Dr Narine of IAST pointing out the advantages of biofuels for Guyana where uncultivated land (not forest) and plenty of water are waiting to be put to use. The only thing missing is the expertise.

I trust that the international media will give a balanced picture. It is surely a case of 'horses for courses' - each country needs its own mix of solutions. No blanket remedies please. We need to exploit all resources wisely to meet world energy needs.