Iwokrama will today relaunch its Science Programme at the World Science Day Event at the Pegasus Hotel at 6 pm thanks to a $62M donation from ExxonMobil.
According to an Iwokrama press release, the event, which is open to the public will feature a lecture by Keynote Speaker, Andrew Mitchell, on ‘Shaping the Green Economy: Iwokrama’s role’. Mitchell is an international thought leader on tropical forests, climate change and natural capital. He is a zoologist with 40 years of experience in scientific research, conservation and finance for forests. He is also currently Founder Director of the Global Canopy Programme in the United Kingdom.
According to the release, 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 programme on biodiversity.
“I am encouraged by the positive support from ExxonMobil,” the release quoted Dane Gobin, CEO of Iwokrama, as saying. “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.”
The release stated that with this partnership between the two organisations to re-establish the 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 organisation as community-minded as the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development,” the release quoted Rod Henson, ExxonMobil Guyana’s Country Manager as saying. “We’re excited to see the Science Programme revitalised and the sustainable impacts the research will have across the region and globe.”
Iwokrama’s acceptance of funding from ExxonMobil may cause raised eyebrows among conservationists. Iwokrama is a sustainable forestry project which aims to ensure no impairment of greenhouse gas absorption by its forests while ExxonMobil by its very nature is a huge greenhouse gas emitter and has been accused of denying established climate change facts.