ExxonMobil, a significant supporter of the Iwokrama Science Programme for the biodiversity project, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the University of Guyana to support a PhD scholarship at that institution under the said programme.
From left; Dane Gobin – CEO of Iwokrama, Dr Guyanpriya Maharaj – Director of the Centre for Biological Diversity, UG and Calvin Bernard – Former Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences and member of the Iwokrama Science Committee.
The centre is also implementing a hydrology programme at the Iwokrama and the Rupununi Savannahs.
One of the students will work with the centre under its Science Programme biodiversity project while completing work in fulfillments of the requirements for the PhD degree in the biodiversity.
This student’s research area, The Study of Animals and Forestry Practices, will benefit the Committee as she will continue to build on the pioneer work, which they began in the very area.
This science programme includes other outreach activities; capacity building and awareness programmes for the local community and the production of a “Legal field guide for natural resource practitioners”, Guyana’s first and the development of Guyana’s first 3D map of community lands.
The Centre, guided by an international Board of Trustees, is unique, providing a dedicated, well managed and researched forest environment.
The forest is zoned into a Sustainable Utilisation Area (SUA) and a Wilderness Preserve (WP) in which to test the concept of a truly sustainable forest where conservation, environmental balance and economic use can be mutually reinforcing.
The IIC collaborates with the Government of Guyana, the Commonwealth and other international partners and donors to develop new approaches and forest management models to enable countries with rainforests to market their ecosystem services whilst carefully managing their resources through innovative and creative conservation practices.
ExxonMobil had previously funded the organisation with some US$600,000 in 2017.
Twenty local communities with approximately 7000 people who are stakeholders and participants in the IIC’s sustainable timber, tourism, research operations and forest management activities through complex co-management and benefit sharing arrangements.
A portfolio of sustainable managed and certified business models using innovative governance systems which includes participation of private and public sectors and local communities, earning an income from the forest and its natural asset while employing international social, environmental and economic practice keeping abreast with the ever changing thinking on funding for environmental projects in the face of climate change and the perennial scarcity of international finance.