ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
YEAR OF INVESTMENT
Guyana is one of six countries that comprise the much-revered Guiana Shield; a 70 million hectare region home to a variety of ecosystems and keystone species of biodiversity. The Shield comprises 18% of the world’s tropical forest carbon and 20% of the world’s fresh water, playing a key role in capturing and sequestering large quantities of carbon dioxide. With an economy heavily dependent upon extractive industries and oil reserves, the Shield is diminishing in its carbon sequestration capacity and its rich biodiversity is being compromised and threatened.
The Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development (IIC) is an international not-for-profit organization established in 1996 under joint mandate by the Government of Guyana and The Commonwealth to manage the 371,000 hectare Iwokrama forest of the Guyana shield. Our investment allowed the IIC to build 8 high quality eco-lodges on the banks of the Essequibo River in the heart of the reserve, becoming an eco-tourism destination employing local indigenous peoples to work in the centre and as guides, and providing IIC with a source of income to support operating costs and meet its goals of promoting forest protection, climate action and sustainable life on land.
Iworakama was one of the LCEF’s first investments, made in late 2007. Since that time the IIC has expanded to sustainable, certified forestry operations, as well as eco-tourism, to protect the Iwokrama forest. The IIC facility supports employment opportunities for 5,000-6,000 Amerindians, and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor in 2015, as well as a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification for sustainable logging in 2017.