The agreement was inked between the centre and the Region Nine community of Fair View at the Hotel Tower on Thursday. The village is located near the Kurupukari crossing of the Essequibo River adjacent to the Linden-Lethem road which bisects the Iwokrama Rainforest Centre site. The proximity encouraged interactions between Fair View and Iwokrama and as a result employment by Iwokrama also became a source of livelihood for villagers.
Iwokrama Director General David Singh in remarks to the gathering noted that the agreement marked an important milestone in the development of protected areas management in Guyana and is indicative of the possibility that people can live, sustain their livelihoods, find self advancement and fulfil their aspirations, while living and working within a park. Additionally, Singh said the agreement established a global reference point for participatory decision making when it comes to natural resource use and management.
"Today we take another important step as we formally embrace the concept of people living within parks as a viable means by which one can conserve and manage a protected area. In fact, today we see the last segment of the loop that connects the 90% of forest-dependent people across the world to the management of their resources in partnership with government and other stakeholders," Singh said.