Iwokrama was founded to promote the conservation and the sustainable and equitable use of tropical rainforests
The Iwokrama rainforest is located in the geographical heart of Guyana: it comprises 371,000 hectares of forest, or 1.6% of Guyana’s landmass and 2% of Guyana forests.
The Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development (Iwokrama) is an autonomous non-profit institution established by Guyana and the Commonwealth. Through the dedication of approximately 360,000 hectares1 (nearly one million acres) of intact tropical rain forest by the Government and People of Guyana to the International Community, Iwokrama aims to show how tropical forests can be conserved and sustainably used for ecological, social and economic benefits to local, national and international communities.
The responsibility for management, conservation and sustainable development of this forest area (the Iwokrama Forest) was entrusted to the Iwokrama International Centre, through the Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development Act, Act No 7 of 1996, and an Agreement between the Government of Guyana and the Commonwealth signed in November 1995. The Iwokrama Centre is as an autonomous corporate body, governed by an International Board of Trustees. Six percent (approximately 22,000 hectares) of the Iwokrama Forest is legally owned by Fair View Village through Amerindian Land Title, obtained in July 2006.
Fundamental to the work of the Iwokrama Centre is the geographical zoning the Iwokrama Forest into two spatially equal zones: a Sustainable Use Area (SUA) and a Wilderness Preserve (WP). The SUA is available for multiple resource use to yield benefits to present generations while maintaining the potential to meet the needs of future generations. The SUA is managed by the Centre and the local communities and in particular Fair View Village. The WP serves as a reference area for studying the impacts of human activity through comparison with uses in the SUA, and to maintain a pool of genetic resources and culturally important sites in an intact state.