Georgetown, Guyana 9th November, 2017
This year Iwokrama celebrated World Science Day for Peace and Development by hosting a public lecture and re-launching Iwokrama’s Science Programme.
The inaugural World Science Day event hosted over 150 persons and was lead by Dr. Patrick Chesney, who guided the audience through remarks from Mr. Dane Gobin (CEO, Iwokrama), Rod Henson (Country manager, ExxonMobil Guyana), Honourable Minister David Patterson and Keynote Speaker Mr. Andrew Mitchell; who delivered an engaging and informative presentation on ‘Iwokrama’s place in the world’. The event concluded with active discussion around the future of Science at Iwokrama and its role in both local and global green development.
Mr. Mitchell is an international thought leader on tropical forests, climate change and natural capital. Starting his career as a zoologist, he advanced to gain 40-years’ experience spanning scientific research, conservation and finance for forests. Mr. Mitchell is currently Founder Director of the innovative Global Canopy Programme in the United Kingdom.
At the event, Iwokrama also announced a new partnership with sponsors, ExxonMobil who will be providing a generous charitable contribution to the tune of $62 Million Guyana Dollars (US$300,000) to support the re-launch its Science Programme.
“I am encouraged by the positive support from ExxonMobil,” said Dane Gobin, CEO Iwokrama. “Together, we will work to foster an international science hub that supports biodiversity research, education, and sustainable development for the country,region, and global community.”
With this partnership between the two organisations to re-establish the internationally prestigious Science Programme, the intention will be to action key scientific research, within the Iwokrama forest.
“We’re committed to the communities where we live and work, and we’re proud to partner with an organization as community-minded as the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development,” said Rod Henson, ExxonMobil Guyana Country Manager. “We’re excited to see the Science Programme revitalized and the sustainable impacts the research will have across the region and globe.”
The initial contribution from ExxonMobil will support the establishment of the Iwokrama Science Committee and commission initial research, based on the advice of the Committee, to inform a more comprehensive program on biodiversity. Funding will also enhance local capacity, including staffing and limited facility improvements.
Every year in November, World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated. The day seeks to highlight the important role that science plays in society and underscores the need for wide public information sharing and debates on emerging issues. Such issues include, green economy development, climate change, application-based scientific knowledge generation, new species discoveries and species conservation, to name a few.
Iwokrama will share more information on the progress of the Science Programme in due course and looks forward to making the World Science Day Public lecture an annual event.