Research is clearly identified in Iwokrama’s mission as one of the means of achieving conservation and sustainable utilisation of our forests

Iwokrama promotes the conservation and the sustainable and equitable use of tropical rain forests in a manner that leads to lasting ecological, economic and social benefits to the people of Guyana and to the world in general, by undertaking research, training, and the development and dissemination of technologies.

The first phase of Iwokrama’s research focused on the collection of baseline information to help inform management planning for the forest: zoning of the forest, forest management and monitoring. Many biodiversity surveys were conducted in the wider Guianas area. However, there were also several specific projects that encapsulated other issues, including bio-prospecting (entophytic fungi), forest utilisation, wetlands, marketing and social research.

Currently, Iwokrama is engaged in a number of projects that fit well within the IIC’s continuing research agenda goals. The three largest projects comprise the Forest Research Network; the Guiana Shield Initiative; and a programme focused on capacity building to support national initiatives in reducing deforestation and degradation in Guyana. The first project is funded by the European Commission and the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) EU-ACP Forestry Research Network Project the second by the European Union, the Dutch Government, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Netherlands Committee; and the third by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

These three projects have begun to take research at Iwokrama in a new direction, building on the baseline information and providing a new focus and a more holistic approach covering all aspects of the ecosystem services that forests provide. The challenge now is to establish an overall research framework that will allow the valuable work carried out in these and future projects to contribute in a coordinated way towards:

  • The enhancement of the internationally-recognised fundamental science needed to achieve greater understanding of the ecosystem services provided by the Iwokrama forest and to establish how vulnerable they are to stress, particularly from climate change;
  • Developing capabilities for quantifying and valuing ecosystem services, and assessing impacts of different possible future economic or climate scenarios and consequently the sustainability of forest management practices;
  • Providing long-term monitoring of forest cover, climate, hydrology, and biodiversity, giving evidence for changes in ecosystem services; and
  • Supporting training and capacity building in the region to continue to develop and deliver these functions in the long term.
    Iwokrama’s new prestigious International Science Committee (ISC), with membership drawn from Guyana, the Caribbean, Europe and the United States, was formed earlier this year to advise the trustees on this new approach to research and to help implement it, together with other key stakeholders.

Research from Newcastle University

Assisting with Iwokrama’s mission is Newcastle University, a research based institute which is steering research projects on climate and hydrology, biodiversity and cultural heritage. This partnership currently operates, and is in the process of developing, several new and exciting research projects such as the scope and value of the forests’ eco-system services as well as socio-cultural studies focusing on preserving indigenous heritage and sustainable tourism.


Articles, Papers, and Reports

Academic work and scholarly papers generated from research conducted at or in collaboration with Iwokrama. (partial – more coming soon)

2013Establishing baseline data on bats for REDD+ verificationBiodiversity Science
Burton Lim, Department of Natural History, Royal Ontario Museum
Original articlePDF
2013A third microendemic to the Iwokrama Mountains of central Guyana: a new “cryptic” species of Allobates (Anura: Aromobatidae)Zimmerman and ZimmermanPDF
2013Iwokrama Research GuidelinesPDF
2013From resilience to viability: a case study of indigenous communities of the North Rupununi, GuyanaEcho GeoOriginal ArticlePDF
2013Sobralia pakaraimense (Orchidaceae), a new species from GuyanaPrzemysław Baranow* & Dariusz L. Szlachetko, Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing BoardPDF
2013Connecting the fonts in conservation - A compendium of conservation organizations for the insular Caribbean, Belize, Suriname, GuyanaLia Nicholson, Kasey Jacobs, Marixa Maldonado, and William Gould for the Caribbean Landscape Conservation CooperativePDF
2013Bats Before Bedtime - Scientists find a new animal spacies in the old rain forestsStudent Science - The Society for Science & The PublicOriginal article
2011Reducing biodiversity impacts from logging in GuyanaJake Bicknell, Biodiversity ScienceOriginal articlePDF
2010Iwokramam Baseline and Monitoring Report - Monitoring, Resource Management and TrainingPDF
2009Forest Law Enforcement and Governance and Forest Practices in GuyanaJorge Trevin and Robert NasiOriginal articlePDF
2009Community Conserved Areas and Multi Level GovernanceFikret Berkes, University of ManitobaOriginal articlePDF
2009Description of Microcaecilia iwokramaeZachary R. Lewis; iNaturalist.orgOriginal article
2009Case study on the impact of climate change on agriculture on an indigenous community in GuyanaUnited Nations Development ProgrammePDF
2009A new lungless caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) from GuyanaMarvalee H. Wake1, and Maureen A. Donnelly; Proceedings of the Royal Society of Biological SciencesOriginal articlePDF
2009Initial Assessment of the Climate of Guyana and the Region with a Focus on IwokramaC. Isabella Bovolo Geoff Parkin Thomas Wagner
School of Civil Engineering & Geosciences Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne. NE1 7RU, UK
2007Green Heart of Guyana - Iwokrama International Centre for Conservation and DevelopmentPDF
2005BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION STUDIES IN GUYANA: 1, 2, & 3 Contributions to the Study of Biological Diversity Volume 2: 1-78
Centre for the Study of Biological Diversity University of Guyana, Faculty of Natural Sciences Turkeyen Campus
Georgetown, Guyana 2005
2005The Iwokrama Centre and Forest: Introduction to Special PapersProceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of PhiladelphiaOriginal articlePDF
2005Culture Change and Health Among the MakushiJanette Bulkan (Yale University), Barabara Piperata (Ohio State University), students Kathryn Hicks (Northwestern University), Shawna Ardley, Megan Nolan, and Ashley Farelly (University of Calgary), and 13 Makushi assistants known collectively as the Makushi Research UnitPDF
2000Report of the Final Project Evaluation MissionUnited Nations Development ProgrammePDF
1997Presentation: The Iwokrama International Rain Forest Programme in GuyanaCommonwealth consultative group on environment - fourth meetingPDF
More eyes watching...” Community-based management of the Arapaima (Arapaima gigas) in Central GuyanaDamian FernandesPDF
Birds of the Iwokrama ForestRobert Ridgely & David AGroOriginal artclePDF

Iwokrama Riverlodge COVID-19 Tourism Protocols

Providing assurance for a clean and healthy environment for visitors and staff at Iwokrama locations. The Iwokrama Hygiene and Sanitation Protocol is an addition to Iwokrama’s Safety and Health Manual. This new protocol is implemented as a result of the COVID – 19 Pandemic. It includes new guidelines and procedures to ensure a safe and healthy environment for staff, tourists and other visitors. This Protocol is subject to change without notice and is based on current Government of Guyana regulations and other health and safety best practices.