12 Feb Guyana’s Green Heart
Sustainable Forestry at Iwokrama and Surama EcoLodge
Despite its name meaning ’Land of rivers’, 88% of Guyana is rainforest with a single dirt track running through it to the Brazilian border. A stomach churning overnight bus brought me into thegreen heart of the countries interior where the richness of wildlife in the forest was matched by thatin the river.
Located in the centre of Guyana’s Interior, Iwokrama Reserve is a one million acre protected forestdedicated to test the concept of a truly sustainable forest:
‘where conservation, environmental balance and economic use can be mutually reinforcing’
Their research centre hosts scientists, tourists and wildlife enthusiasts from around the world to carry out and contribute to numerous long term environmental studies investigating the current andfuture value of forests. Run almost exclusively by local communities the area aims to encourageand educate people on the importance of investing in the future of their forest and its inhabitants.
Included in the research being carried out at Iwokrama is a sustainable timber harvesting projectwhich was developed to study and understand the sustainable nature of forest activities and their pro.tability. Continued monitoring of .ora and fauna in these managed areas are being used toevaluate how the forest responds in comparison unmanaged areas.
Such studies provide crucial information for the successful future of forests and their communities.
A truly inspirational place which offers an insight into how sustainable practices can pro.t bothpeople and their environment.
For more information on the reserve and the research please visit http://iwokrama.org