Commonwealth funding for Iwokrama dries up; Gov’t releases US$100,000

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Iwokrama International Centre
Iwokrama International Centre

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development continues to be plagued with financial shortfalls and has found itself in a situation where it is unable to pay staff and honor other immediate expenses.

To this end, the APNU+AFC administration, at its Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, approved US$100,000 for the center which is expected to cover it expenditure until September.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon made the disclosureon Wednesday; one day after the Commonwealth indicated it would be unable to provide continued funding for the international non-profit organization.

As a result, the government has appointed a review committee to inquire into the sustainability of the center which 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.

The review committee will seek out ways to market the forest and its research centre to generate more funding and attract tourist.

Harmon said the Chairman of the International Board of Trustees which manages the center is “not as active as he was expected to be.”

While Prince Charles of Wales, who is the Patron of the center, seems distracted by other commitments internationally.

Harmon believes these developments are no doubt beleaguering the center.

The IIC secured a similar bail out from the former People’s Progressive Party government last year.

The PPP had supported the center with finance over several years due to a lack of support from the internationally community.

Guyana has received significant support in its forest conservation efforts but believes the international community should do more to help.

1 COMMENT

  1. In my opinion a financial audit of Iwokrama must be conducted also an inquiry into the failed business models/ ventures conducted or entered into by the current Director of Iwokrama.

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