COMMONWEALTH CENTER COULD HELP TUVALU REDUCE IMPACTS OF
LONDON, England (May 9, 2002 - CNIS/PINA Nius Online)---The
Commonwealth Secretariat and Guyana's Iwokrama Center convene a donors'
round table meeting in London next week to discuss funding possibilities,
with Tuvalu among possible future beneficiaries.
The center was set up in 1996 under an agreement between the Guyana
government and the Commonwealth Secretariat. Its patron is Prince Charles.
Why might Tuvalu benefit?
During the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Australia
small island states called for support and action for sustainable
development and against global warming. President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana
then made strong pleas for members to reaffirm their support for the
He supported Tuvalu in its request for aid towards reducing the impacts of
global warming. He indicated that the Iwokrama Center was a major player
within the Commonwealth for related work.
Donors expected to be at the London meeting include the European Union,
the British Department for International Development, the World Bank, the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the United Nations
Development Program, UNESCO, and Conservation International.
It is estimated that further funding will be needed for at least another
three years to allow the Iwokrama program to reach a significant level of
Guyana donated a tropical rainforest to help launch the center. It also
received a large injection of funds from several donors, including the
United Kingdom and Canada, during 1997-2000.
Kathryn Monk, the center's director general, said that the Iwokrama
project is poised to begin generating significant income from its Guyana
She said: "That will help the center meet its mission to demonstrate how
tropical rainforests can be conserved and sustainably used while making a
significant contribution to both local and national economic development."
Dr. Monk said this would contribute considerable understanding about "how
developing countries ... can better harness the potential of forests to
contribute to sustainable and equitable development, lasting poverty
reduction and the protection of vital local and global environmental
services and values."
An endowment fund would also ensure that the center can pursue its role as
an education and training center in these fields, she suggested.
Said Dr. Monk: "Continued moral and financial support from member
governments is essential to protect the achievements of the past few years
and build for the future.
"With so much achieved so far, it would be tragic for Guyana, the
Commonwealth, and the wider international community if the future of the
center and its programs were threatened by insufficient continuity of
commitment at this crucial transition stage."
Pacific Islands News Association (PINA)