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The Iwokrama Forest Reserve

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Cover Photo: Divya Ramkellawan

First Published: 24th of November, 2014 by Patrick Carpen

Last updated: August 20, 2023 at 0:12 am

The Iworkrama Forest Reserve consists of 31,700 hectares of tropical rainforest in Guyana, South America. It is managed by the Iwokrama International Center for Rainforest Conservation and Development.

Perched on the Essequibo River inside the Iwokrama Forest Reserve is the Iwokrama River Lodge. The Iwokrama Forest Reserve can be reached by driving 4 hours (216 kilometers) north down the red laterite trail through open Savannahs from the Town of Lethem in Region 9. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for this trip since the road can be rough and broken at some points. It can also be reached by driving from Georgetown down the Lethem-Linden Trail. The Iwokrama Forest Reserve is located a few miles after the Kurupukari Crossing when coming from Georgetown.

According to the Iwokrama Website, The Iwokrama International Center for Rainforest Conservation and Development is an international not-for-profit organization governed by an International Board of Trustees and managed by a professional team of around seventy permanent staff in Georgetown and at the Iwokrama River Lodge and Research Centre at Kurupukari. The organization is sponsored by His Royal Highness, Price Charles of Wales.

Birdwatching at Atta Lodge, Iwokrama. Photo: Lubenia Ambrose

The IIC was established in 1996 to manage the Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve “in a manner that will lead to lasting ecological, economic, and social benefits to the people of Guyana and to the world in general.”

A Canadian tourist, Patricia Cameron, and her tour guide rest during a climb up Turtle Mountain at Iwokrama

The Iwokrama forest and its research center are unique, providing a dedicated site in which to test the concept of a truly sustainable forest – where conservation, environmental balance, and economic use can be mutually reinforcing. Drawing on its earlier work in sustainable forest management, the IIC is now, in close collaboration with the Government of Guyana, the Commonwealth and other international partners including the UK company Canopy Capital, developing a new approach to enable countries with rainforests to earn significant income from eco-system services and creative conservation practice.

Leaving Iwokrama Rainforest Lodge. Photo: Ronaldo Alexander

The Iwokrama International Center uses the Forest Reserve for scientific purposes as well as eco-tourism and sustainable forestry. One of its objectives is to help fight the effects of climate by conserving the forest.

Atta Rainforest Lodge, Iwokrama

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