Testing the Concept of a Truly Sustainable Forest

Join us Tuesday, September 16th from 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Topic: Tropical Rain Forest Conservation & Research at Iwokrama in Guyana, South America – Testing the Concept of a Truly Sustainable Forest.

The Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development is an autonomous non-profit institution established by Guyana and the Commonwealth. The Centre manages over 371,000 hectares (1 million acres) of tropical rain forest in central Guyana to demonstrate how tropical forests can be conserved and sustainably used for ecological, social and economic benefits to local, national and international communities.


Vanessa Benn will be introducing us to the work, research and community development at this unique center whose initiatives bring together an alliance of people, science and business to show how a rainforest can be used for real sustainability, real climate change protection and real community benefits.  This alliance includes 16 local communities (including the native Amerindian people) who are shareholders and participants in Iwokrama’s sustainable timber, tourism and research operations; scientists engaged in ground breaking research into the impact of climate change on the forests; and a sustainably managed business operation, earning income from the forest and it’s natural resources.  Vanessa will share the findings and achievements of their work in the field and the plans for the upcoming IV International Congress on Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield in 2016.

Vanessa Benn is a development consultant, project coordinator and researcher at the Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development. She engages prospective partners and leads consultations on agreements with the Centre. Vanessa has coordinated forest research projects in Guyana and Suriname as part of a network of 12 countries in the ACP region. She works to help build capacity and awareness on sustainable forest management and climate, and has been one of the key persons on the development and use of the book Climate Change and The Role of Forests: A Community Manual. She works with forest-dependent communities conducting research in chainsaw milling and community resources management.  Vanessa is a member of the Local Organizing Committee for the IV International Congress on Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield, Guyana 2016, and is the incoming vice-chair of the International Society on Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield (IBG).

About IBG:

Guyana will host the IV International Congress of Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield (IBG) in 2016. The Congress is organized triennially by the International Society on Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield which maintains information and provides advice on biological diversity and environmental issues of the ecoregion spread across Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil, Columbia and Venezuela – the Guiana Shield. (http://www.biodiversitycongress.org/website/page.asp?menuid=15).  IBG Congresses provide an important forum for researchers, policy makers, academia and community leaders to share their experiences and information for biodiversity management, and to discuss and seek solutions to challenges faced in the region. Regional integration is promoted through sound science and community exchanges are fostered by a number of events including the presentation of academic papers and posters, and special workshops and symposia deliberation on issues such as green development, forest-dependent community livelihoods, water conservation and sustainable development. Additionally, the forum is an excellent opportunity for universities and research organizations of the region to promote south-south cooperation, and foster greater collaboration with others outside the region (http://ibg-society.blogspot.com/).

RSVP at info@nextmileproject.org