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Nov 10, 2021

COP26 Update: The Value of Belize’s Forest

On Tuesday, the Belize delegation to COP26 in Scotland made a presentation on the efforts of the REDD+ project in Belize so far. News Five’s Duane Moody found out more about what this means in terms of carbon credits.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Today, Belize was lauded for its standing in forest conservation and was said to boast the best forest in the Central American region. Sixty-four percent of the country remains under forest cover with one hundred and four plus protected areas. With the implementation of the UNFCCC REDD+ program, the country is poised for the next step, having established carbon credits.


Dr. Kenrick Williams

Dr. Kenrick Williams, C.E.O., Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management

“What this project has allowed us to do is apply a consistent methodology on the assessment of our forest stocks and the changes over time to get a sense of are we net removing emissions and what is the state of our forests. We applied some methodology to get a better sense of how much we can remove or emit as a country. The results tell us that we are a net remover, so we have some credit, some value because we’ve done our job and this is the result. Even when we take out the disturbances, we still have positive values, this is what we would call carbon credit. And it is this credits then that we can put on the market to sell.”


….and the assessment shows that Belize, in line with the UNFCCC approval, has about five point six million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent between the period 2015 to 2018.


Dr. Kenrick Williams

“Now remember a lot of this is still in discussion based on the discussions here at COP and it will influence those values and what we can put on the market. So all of these discussions are interlinked with the discussions at COP and how we can treat markets. The market right now varies and again because the international mechanism, the Paris Agreement and the mechanism which would guide this process is still not finalized. But generally, the market is somewhere between seven and twenty million dollars largely from private sector. There is a green climate fund mechanism that pays around five dollars per ton, but the private sector market is around from eight to about twenty dollars per ton. There are projections done by the UK government which shows upwards of two hundred dollars per ton going forward.”


Getting Belize ready was not without technical support and capacity building from the Coalition for Rainforest Nations.


Federica Beita

Federica Beita, Managing Director, Coalition for Rainforest Nations

“We were building a beautiful mechanism under the UNFCCC that is called REDD+ and Belize is doing brilliantly in its implementation. OUT 00:43

IN 01:23 we start working with Belize probably four/five years ago and we are so proud of the success that has been achieved so far – starting from zero to having one of the first countries in the region to have results that can go into the market.”


At a side event held at COP26, representatives from countries across several regions lauded the results as the presentation served as a testament that the process works.


Minchinton Burton

Minchinton Burton, Forestry Wildlife & National Parks Director, Dominica

“They seem to have done a lot of work and it was very impressive to see how far they have come and that they are almost ready on the point now to be able to sell. So we’ve been in that process for a while, at different junction and with less capacity and all of that, but we are very much impressed. That presentation gave us more inspiration and motivation to actually be able to move forward in that process.”


So now that Belize has readied its forest which is a carbon sink and the concept of carbon credits will soon kick in, what’s the next step? C.E.O. Doctor Kenrick Williams explains.


Dr. Kenrick Williams

“The next step is going to market and sale of these so called credits. But to do that, before we even go to market, before we engage in that, there is national mechanism, a national framework that we have to outline. How do we engage in things like benefit sharing? What’s defined as a credit? Who owns a credit? It is an intangible object so there is no real ownership. If it is that we have a marketplace, then the Ministry of Finance will lead that process. The Ministry of Economic Development will look at the benefit-sharing mechanism. How is it that this fund will support at the end of the day – address poverty, address social protection, because at the end of the day, while the forest deh dah Cayo and ih deh dah Toledo, it has to benefit the whole country.”


Reporting from COP26 in Glasgow Scotland, Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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