Depart of Public Service, Minister of the Presidency
Monday, December 16, 2019
Minister of the Public Service, Honourable Tabitha Sarabo-Halley M.P on Sunday last met with the management of the Iwokrama River Lodge and Research Station, to discuss how the Department of Public Service, Ministry of the Presidency can effectively partner with the conservation organization to provide training to various sections of the Guyanese populace.
During the brief meeting, Minister Sarabo-Halley also took the opportunity to find out the training needs of the Research Station’s staff and promised to work with them on the way forward.
Minister Sarabo-Halley’s visit was in keeping with a commitment made by H.E President David Granger to have established at the Iwokrama Research Station, a world class school of bio-diversity.
During his address on the occasion of Iwokrama’s 3oth Anniversary President Granger said, “A new covenant will be crafted to ensure Iwokrama’s survival and success, in perpetuity. The new covenant will be functional rather than ornamental. The new covenant to be unveiled, during our Decade of Development: 2020-2029, envisages Iwokrama as a ‘living’ repository of the country’s unsurpassable biodiversity. Iwokrama will become the home of all of Guyana rich and diverse flora and fauna. Government will establish, at Iwokrama, a world-class centre of excellence for students and researchers interested in increasing their knowledge of our essential ecosystems.”
In addition, the President said, “Iwokrama, under the new covenant, will be about education rather than entertainment and research rather than recreation. The Centre must become a schoolhouse for students aiming to study the sciences – biology, botany and zoology – inter alia.”
According to President Granger, “Iwokrama, with its rich biodiversity, is pivotal to positioning our economy onto a green growth pathway. It is our key to protecting our environmental patrimony. The pursuit of sustainable development cannot be achieved unless there is an unobstructed obligation to the protection of our biodiversity. Iwokrama, with yet undiscovered and unexploited resources, is essential to our economic existence. Iwokrama can teach the world lessons on biodiversity. Sanctuaries for the conservation and preservation of our rich flora and fauna will be established.”
The President also committed to partner with others to make Iwokrama into a world-class institute for biodiversity research – an academy of excellence to serve the educational needs of students for generations to come.
“Iwokrama will be the home of an International Institute for Biodiversity to support its educational efforts. The Institute will allow students and researchers from the Continent, the Caribbean and the rest of the world to come to Iwokrama to study its biodiversity and to increase knowledge and understanding of our vital ecosystems.” President David Granger iterated.
The Iwokrama International Centre (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 River Lodge and Research Centre, situated at Kurupukari, on the west bank of the Essequibo river, is Iwokrama’s operational hub.