first_imgThe Iwokrama International Centre recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Guyana (UG) to support a PhD scholarship under a science programme funded by ExxonMobil.Iwokrama Chief Executive Officer Dane Gobin; UG Centre for Biological Diversity Director, Dr Guyanpriya Maharaj and former Faculty of Natural Sciences Dean and Iwokrama Science Committee member Calvin BernardThe student, Arianne Harris, will work with the Centre under its science programme’s biodiversity project while completing work in fulfilment of the requirements for a PhD degree in biodiversity from UG.Her research involves understanding how bird and bat species respond to forestry practices, and what role these animals play in helping the forest to regenerate following commercial activities.To date, the Iwokrama Science Committee has done some of the most pioneering work in this area, and Harris’s research will continue to build on this.She will be supervised by a UG team as well as scientists from the United Kingdom and United States who are on Iwokrama’s Science Committee.ExxonMobil has been a significant supporter of the Iwokrama Science Programme, providing some US$600,000 in funding since 2017.In addition to the biodiversity project, the Centre is also implementing a hydrology programme at Iwokrama and in the Rupununi Savannahs.Other outputs from the Science Programme include outreach activities, capacity building and awareness programmes for the local communities; the production of a “legal field guide for natural resource practitioners” – Guyana’s first; and the development of Guyana’s first 3D map of community lands (Fairview Village).The Centre recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the offer of the Iwokrama Forest for research into climate change and sustainable development by the Government of Guyana to the international community at the 1989 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malaysia.last_img

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