"Forests alive"<br/>Forest evapo-transpiration<br/><em>photo © Katherine Secoy</em> Surveying the Iwokrama Reserve, 370,000 hectares<br/>of pristine rainforest within the Guiana Shield<br/><br/> "Biodiversity"<br/><em>photo © Sue Cunningham </em><br/><br/> "Refugia"<br/><em>photo © Sue Cunningham </em><br/><br/>

Iwokrama: a benchmark for conservation

The Iwokrama Reserve is 360,000 hectares of rainforest in Guyana. It lies at the heart of the Guiana Shield, one of only four remaining rainforest regions in the world. It was dedicated to the Commonwealth to be administered on behalf of the people of Guyana and on behalf of humanity as a whole, as a research centre into best practice in the management of tropical forests.

Administered by an international board of trustees, the Iwokrama Reserve demonstrates how tropical forests can be conserved and sustainably managed to provide ecological, social and economic benefits for the local communities and for Guyana and the wider world.

The Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development (IIC) was established in 1996. Its exemplary track record of research and international governance make it ideally placed to form the bridge between the conservation of forest canopies and capital markets. The IIC works in close partnership with the 16 local communities (with a total population of about 7,000 people within the Reserve and in the surrounding areas). It has the support of the President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, and the Commonwealth Secretariat and its Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.

In March 2008, Canopy Capital entered into a license agreement with the IIC to evaluate and market the ecosystem services (ESS) of Iwokrama's tropical rainforest in return for annual ESS payments to Iwokrama.

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