Aid in a Rush. A Case Study of the Norway-Guyana REDD+ Partnership

FNI Report 4/2013. Lysaker, FNI, 2013, 82 p.

As part of the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), Norway chose the small, Latin-American country Guyana as bilateral REDD+ partner. The partnership is both surprising and groundbreaking, given that Guyana is a country where Norway has minimal presence and projects. This report asks the question why Norway chose Guyana as partner country despite minimal experience and high levels of risks by employing a Foreign Policy Analysis framework. This framework allows for identifying key actors meanwhile demonstrating how International, Domestic and Governmental factors play into the reasoning behind such a decision. The decision-making process was marked by little time and disagreements between the two responsible ministries dealing with the initiative. Although the partnership is being funded by the aid budget, this case shows that climate political priorities trumped foreign aid considerations. The report contributes to an ongoing debate in the field of foreign aid, namely whether spending aid allocations on payments for ecosystem services is a new practice that should be maintained.