IIC spots urgent need for biodiversity conservation

International Day for Biodiversity

… partners with EMC to foster joint efforts

Recognising the critical role of biodiversity in maintaining the ecological balance in our natural systems, the Iwokrama International Centre (IIC) has partnered with Environmental Management Consultants (EMC) to enable biodiversity conservation in Guyana.
Today, Guyana joins the world in celebrating International Day for Biodiversity under the theme: “Our solutions are in Nature”.
The Centre noted that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there should be serious reconditioning and recognition of how much mankind is dependent on ecosystems.
“There is growing recognition of the dependence on ecosystems for health, water, food, medicines, shelter, energy, and the need for urgent action to address conservation of biodiversity and to increase the resilience of nations and communities in the wake of accelerating impacts from climate change,” the IIC said.
It went on to say that Guyana has played a vital role in providing global leadership and valuable lessons on sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation, and payment for forest climate services through the REDD+ Partnership between Guyana and Norway.
“IIC and EMC urge continued national and international action to sustainably manage forests to ensure their integrity, to secure livelihoods and protect biodiversity. IIC and EMC also wish to announce the establishment of a mechanism of cooperation between the two entities which will see joint efforts in the areas of biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management, research, environmental education and awareness, and the advancement of initiatives to support a low-carbon economy,” the organisations revealed.
According to Iwokrama Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dane Gobin, the IIC decided to partner with EMC on account of its resources to effectively achieve these goals.
Gobin asserted, “The establishment of the partnership with EMC, a premier environmental service provider in Guyana, would allow access to knowledge, expertise and experience in areas such as environmental and natural resources management, biodiversity conservation and climate change. EMC is a strong advocate for low-carbon development and many EMC team members have been involved in national and international initiatives on biodiversity conservation, climate change, forest climate services, and REDD+.”
Meanwhile, EMC Managing Director Shyam Nokta acknowledged that the world was on a trajectory to catastrophic climate change, which made critical the need for intervention.
“We have to take urgent action to protect our natural systems and biodiversity and to secure the future for humanity. Iwokrama has established a solid reputation as an international centre for sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation, and has played a leading role in cutting-edge research on biodiversity in Guyana. EMC is keen to formalise its relationship with Iwokrama to work together at the national and international level to advance action on biodiversity conservation, sustainable use of forests, and climate change,” he stated.
The IIC was established in 1996 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 Utilisation Area (SUA) and a Wilderness Preserve (WP) 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 while carefully managing their resources through innovative and creative conservation practices.
EMC is one of Guyana’s premier environmental services providers. Established in 2007, EMC, with its team of national and international specialists, works in more than 15 sectors and has provided support to in excess of 100 clients.
EMC conducts biodiversity assessments and monitoring and prepares Biodiversity Management Plans for clients utilising its team of national and international biodiversity experts. These are done to ensure that projects do not adversely affect the biodiversity of an area, especially as it relates to endangered, rare, and threatened species.