Congo Pump

(Cecropia obtusa, Cecropia sciadophylla)

The Congo Pump is known as a pioneer or secondary species which means it is opportunistic and when large clearings are made in the forest it establishes itself and colonises. Pioneer species require significant amounts of light to thrive and once shaded out they usually die. Congo Pump is one of the predominant groups of plants found in the early stages of secondary growth. They are therefore a very important species in areas which have been disturbed. Some examples of growth are evidenced along roads and in large clearings for developmental purposes. In commercially logged forests, you can understand why it is very important to ensure that the gap sizes are minimized to retain the original stocks in the forest. To help with this, the Guyana Forestry Commission has a Code of Practice for Timber Harvesting which outlines an “eight metre rule” which simply means that if there are two suitable trees in the forest to fell but they are less than eight metres apart, only one can be felled. This ensures that the gap sizes created will not be so large as to bring in the commercially undesirable species.

The wood is very light and soft with little utility. However, some species of Cecropia (eg, C. petalta) have been used for rafts and occasionally for charcoal. The inner bark provides a useful fibre and the latex has been used in native medicines. The hollow branches can be used as pipes or to make flutes. The leaves and bark of the local species (especially C. obtusa) are used to produce a type of bush tea.|

Cecropia glycogen tissue that ants feed on (Raquel Thomas)
Cecropia obtusa lvs (R. Thomas)

Another interesting fact about the Congo Pump is the symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship it has with ants. The ants feed on the glycogen-filled tissue at the base of the leaf stalks and in turn provide protection for the plant.

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Cecropia sciadophylla sdlg (R. Thomas)
Cecropia fruits-female infructescence (R.Thomas)

Rain forests are rich in biodiversity and are home to many different plants and animals as well as indigenous communities. Humans, even those who don’t live in the rain forest, rely on it for resources such as building materials (wood and lianas), medicine and fruits. Rain forests also provide essential environmental services for life on earth; they create soil as well as prevent soil erosion, produce oxygen though photosynthesis, maintain clean water systems, and are a key defence against climate change.  
The Iwokrama Rain Forest is 371,000 hectares, located in the heart of Guyana. Our mission is to develop strategies for conservation and sustainable development for local people in Guyana and the world at large. We are involved in timber, tourism and training.  Come and visit us in the rain forest or at http://www .iwokrama.org.

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Public financial management: 1966 – present (Final)

This is the fifth and final in a series of articles on the above aimed at highlighting the extent of our achievements in the post-Independence period.

LUCAS STOCK INDEXThe Lucas Stock Index (LSI) rose 0.54 per cent during the third period of trading in June 2016. The stocks of six companies were traded with 79,573 shares changing hands. There were three Climbers and one Tumbler. The stocks of Banks DIH (DIH) rose 1.98 per cent on the sale of 18,757 while the stocks of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) rose 5.26 per cent on the sale of 41,667 shares. In addition, the stocks of Demerara Tobacco Company (DTC) rose 1.51 per cent on the sale of 13,603 shares. In contrast, the stocks of Demerara Bank Limited (DBL) fell 5.26 per cent on the sale of 4,324 shares.  In the meanwhile, the stocks of Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (BTI) and Republic Bank Limited (RBL) remained unchanged on the sale of 222 and 1,000 shares respectively.

Massy and Guyana (Part 1)

Steadfast Last year, this writer looked at the Massy Group of Companies formerly Neal and Massy to gain an understanding of the operations of this company which has been doing business in Guyana for the past 48 years. 

20160626table2jun

Value-added performance of the forest sub-sector: Erratic, weak, declining

Erratic Last week’s column highlighted what I consider to be a most distinctive feature of the extractive forest sub-sector’s performance in Guyana’s economy, during the past decade.

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The UK bids Europe farewell

On June 23 by a small majority, the British people voted to remove themselves from the European Union (EU). The decision has consequences for the Caribbean.

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What would life be without sport?

I wonder what it would be like to exclude sport completely from one’s life for, say, one year? No playing sport, no watching it, no reading it no discussing it no thinking about it even.

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Brexit: Lessons for Caricom

The results of the referendum held in Britain to determine whether or not it should remain in or leave the European Union (EU), has been won by voters who supported the leave option.

Director of Sport Christopher Jones and President of the Guyana Chess Federation Irshad Mohammed (centre) stand with some members of the 2016 Guyana Olympiad chess team. The team travels to Baku, Azerbaijan, for participation at the Olympiad in September. A signature qualifying tournament was not held to determine the members of Guyana’s Olympiad chess team.

Federation picks chess Olympiad team without holding qualifier

The Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) has decided upon a 2016 Guyana Olympiad chess team without hosting a qualification competition to determine the competence of its participants.

Quamina Farrier

Heavy on historic significance, Journey to Freedom failed as a musical

Several Guyanese plays of historic significance were recently staged at the Theatre Guild and National Cultural Centre as part of a Jubilee festival.

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