New Iwokrama Board chairman salutes Guyana’s LCDS model
Renowned climate scientist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri was late this evening installed Chairman of Guyana’s well known international rain forest conservation, research and development centre Iwokrama.
The installation took place on the lawns of State House where a reception hosted by President Donald Ramotar was held for Dr. Pachauri who earlier today travelled to the centre for a tour and meeting with the staff.
The centre was established in 1996 under a joint mandate from the Government of Guyana and the Commonwealth Secretariat to manage the Iwokrama forest, reserve of 371,000 hectares of rainforest. The canopy walkway is one of its most distinguished features.
The centre was described as one with enormous potential by Dr. Pachauri who is no stranger to Guyana.
“Having been there today (Iwokrama)… I feel that this is something that should be known, not only to this region, not only to Guyana. It’s a remarkable imagination that has driven what we find as the Iwokrama initiative. I think it has to be known all over the world,” Dr Pachauri said.
Iwokrama can be considered a gift from Guyana (approximately one million acres of forests) to the Commonwealth in the 1990s to explore interventions in the battle against climate change. This was concretised through the passage of the Iwokrama Act.
Dr. Pachauri who also performs the functions as Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Chancellor of the Energy and Resources Institute University and Head of the University of Yale Climate and Energy Institute was chosen for this new post following an agreement between Guyana and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
In 2007, the scientist was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on the IPCC’s behalf alongside former US Vice President Al Gore.
President Donald Ramotar who regarded Dr. Pachauri an esteemed scientist and friend of Guyana said, “we are delighted and honoured that Dr Pachauri has agreed to lead Iwokrama in the years ahead.”
Dr. Pachauri was himself pleased to lend his expertise to Iwokrama, supporting the call for strong leadership for climate justice and working along with countries like Guyana that are willing to forge alliances in this regard.
“When it comes to climate change, and creating a low carbon future for our country, Dr. Pachauri is one of those global leaders,” President Ramotar said.
He is joined by Guyana’s former President Bharrat Jagdeo who authored the country’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and who has gained international acclaim for his advocacy role. In 2010 the United Nations Environmental Programme conferred him the Champion of the Earth and Times Magazine named him a Hero of the Environment in 2008. He also serves on the board of the Global Green Growth Institute.
Asked by the Government Information Agency (GINA) to share his thoughts on Jagdeo’s role on the local and international scene, Dr Pachauri said, “a lot of people worldwide look forward to his advice, his direction and the fact that he is now on the Global Green Growth Institute in Korea, is testimony to the kind of respect that he commands.”
Guyana’s LCDS which Pachauri described as a symbol of Guyana’s leadership is featured prominently in his New Delhi institute’s first Green Growth and Development quarterly issue.