Iwokrama experiment unique – renowned conservationist

Conservationist Dr Kamal Bawa has lauded as unique, “Guyana’s intact rainforest, together with relatively low population density and commitment at the highest political level…,” adding that it

puts the country on course to developing a “green”  economy.”

According to a press release from the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, Dr Bawa is a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and the founder and President of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment one of Asia’s top-ranked environmental think tanks.

Bawa participated in the Guyana “Green Growth” Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Lab hosted by the Iwokrama International Centre, Biomimicry Roraima and the University of Massachusetts, in association with the Department of Environment from May 30-31.

Kamal Bawa

According to the release, the lab, a forum for open discussion, was designed to identify key challenges of transitioning Guyana to a green economy and discuss potential opportunities for implementing the framework of the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS).

The outcomes of the SDG Lab will be shared with the government and will also be presented at the Ideas and Innovation Forum of the International Sustainability Science Conference in Stockholm, Sweden in August.

Bawa sees the Iwokrama Centre as leading Guyana in the implementation of the GSDS, which centres on the fact that conservation does not have to come at the expense of development, the release stated.

Bawa, who now specialises in sustainability and has worked in the Himalayas for a number of years on issues such as biodiversity and climate change, said that biodiversity is being lost at different rates in different part of the world.

Despite improvements in some areas, he said, “the loss still continues, and from that point of view, I think countries like Guyana are of tremendous importance in the worldwide effort to save our precious biodiversity.”

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