The ExxonMobil Foundation in Irving, Texas, has announced a $10 million commitment to Conservation International in support of efforts to advance a sustainable economy in Guyana through investments in education, research, sustainable management, and conservation of the country's rich ecosystems.
The five-year commitment will support a collaboration with CI and the University of Guyana to provide training for sustainable job opportunities and expand community-supported conservation in the South American country. The commitment also will support the country's Green State Development Plan, a fifteen-year effort that calls for, among other things, the diversification of the economy and the balancing of economic growth with sustainable management and conservation.
A first round of grants will fund a feasibility study by Conservation International Guyana, after which CI and the University of Guyana will deliver the education, training, research, and retention programs recommended by the study. Grants also will support the expansion of conservation areas in the Rupununi Wetlands, mangrove restoration and management, improvements to community-based fishing, and the work of the university's Greening Research and Innovation Centres. To that end, CI will tap its partnerships with a number of higher education institutions, including Arizona State University, to help develop programs focused on environmental innovation and sustainability and entrepreneurship in various nature-based sectors of the economy.
"Guyana stands at a critical crossroads in its development," said Jennifer Morris, president of Conservation International. "By investing in both people and nature, this partnership will play an important part in helping Guyana execute its vision for a green future."
(Photo credit: Conservation International Guyana)