King Charles III renews patronage of Iwokrama

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His Majesty King Charles III will continue to serve as Patron of the Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development (IIC) for another term in supporting the Centre’s work to advance sustainable rainforest management and climate change resilience. This announcement is part of a series of events to celebrate the first anniversary of his Majesty’s coronation.

King Charles first became IIC’s Patron in 2000 after visiting Guyana and the Iwokrama Forest and has been a strong supporter of Iwokrama’s work to develop modern rainforest conservation models and practices, and its innovative approaches to valuing the ecosystem services which tropical forests generate for the benefit of mankind.

Whilst the Centre generates some revenue, it continues to receive support from donors and corporate support programmes and in recent years has benefitted significantly from the Government of Guyana. Guyana’s President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has charted Guyana’s innovative green development agenda through the Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030 (LCDS 2030) of which Iwokrama is an integral part guiding the research and science of biodiversity. In tandem with Guyana’s rapidly developing oil and gas sector, the LCDS 2030 ensures that conservation remains a top national priority and the Centre’s programmatic activity is pivotal in supporting these goals.

The Board, management and staff of Iwokrama, our community partners (the communities of the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) warmly welcome this news of the His Majesty’s continued patronage. Iwokrama’s models of sustainable forest management contribute to rainforest conservation by delivering not only climate protection and environmental balance, but also real examples for socioeconomic development, in particular for the local communities whose livelihoods have, and continue to be dependent on the rainforest. His Majesty’s strong personal support to Iwokrama and his continued commitment to rainforest conservation at the global landscape are well respected and highly valued by the Centre.

The Iwokrama Forest was gifted to the International Community in 1989 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malaysia.

Subsequently, the Iwokrama International Centre (IIC) was established in 1996 through an Act of Parliament and under a joint mandate from the Government of Guyana and the Commonwealth Secretariat to manage the Iwokrama forest, a unique reserve of 371,000 hectares of rainforest “in a manner that will lead to lasting ecological, economic and social benefits to the people of Guyana and to the world in general”.

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 Utilization 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 local, regional and international partners and donors to develop new approaches and forest management models to enable countries with rainforests to market their ecosystem services and other forest values whilst carefully managing their resources through innovative and creative conservation practices.

Iwokrama brings together:

  • 20 local communities (approximately 7,000 people) who are shareholders and participants in the IIC’s sustainable timber, tourism, research operations and forest management activities through complex co-management and benefit sharing arrangements;
  • Scientists and researchers engaged in ground breaking research into the impacts of climate change on the forest and measuring the scope and value of its ecosystem services; and
  • A portfolio of sustainably managed and certified business models using innovative governance systems which include participation of the private and public sectors and the local communities, earning income from the forest and its natural assets whilst employing international social, environmental and economic best practice, whilst still keeping abreast of the ever changing thinking on funding for environmental projects in the face of climate change and the perennial scarcity of international finance.

This alliance and the Centre’s work programmes are committed to showing how a rain forest can be used for real sustainability, real climate change protection and real community benefit.

For further details about the Iwokrama International Centre please visit www.iwokrama.org , www.iwokramariverlodge.com  or contact Dane Gobin, Chief Executive Officer on dgobin@iwokrama.org

[Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development Press Release]

 

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