11 December 2000
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has agreed to assume the Patronage of the Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development, which is based in Georgetown, Guyana. Prince Charles, who has a deep interest in environmental conservation, visited Guyana in February this year where he was briefed about the Iwokrama Centre's activities. During his stay in Guyana, the Prince visited the Iwokrama Forest and met with the communities living in and near the forest.
The Centre manages the Iwokrama Rain Forest Programme, which was launched on the initiative of Guyana under the auspices of the Commonwealth and with initial support from the Global Environment Facility. It has the support of a broad alliance of local communities; Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries; the Commonwealth Secretariat; the European Commission; multilateral environment and development agencies, notably the United Nations Development Programme; bilateral agencies; and private foundations and individuals. The United Kingdom is currently its largest donor.
The Centre is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Iwokrama Forest, a million acre reserve that has been made available to the international community by the Government and people of Guyana. The focus for its work is an action research programme that aims to demonstrate how tropical rain forests can be conserved and sustainably managed while still providing substantial local and national economic benefits. The lessons learned from this experience will be of benefit to other countries with similar forests.
Today, Commonwealth Secretary-General Mr Don McKinnon and Ms Angela Cropper of Trinidad and Tobago, Chairperson of the Iwokrama Centre's Board of Trustees, warmly welcomed the Prince's decision. They expressed the hope that the Patronage of His Royal Highness will help to generate greater international awareness of the Centre and to attract more support for its valuable work.
Note to Editors: Further information about the Iwokrama International Rain Forest Programme can be obtained from:
Mr David Cassells, Director-General, Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development, 67 Bel Air, Georgetown, Guyana
Phone: 592-2-51504; Fax: 592-2-59199; Email: email@example.com
OR from Mr Mwambu Wanendeya, Information and Public Affairs Division
Tel:+44 (0)20 7747 6382 Fax:+44 (0)20 7839 9081
00/107 11 December 2000