Below is a summary video of the work that will be conducted.
A brief summary of the expedition.
I will be volunteering on an exciting research expedition with Operation Wallacea exploring sustainable forestry for local communities. At the same time, our team will be conducting studies on the range of indigenous species.
Your generous donation will contribute to:
- Ongoing research from academic professionals
- Preventing deforestation
- Assessing local wildlife populations - Guyana has many indigenous species that are in some way endangered or vulnerable.
- Helping local indigenous communities - Developing community based tourism plans in Amerindian villages as a way of improving their incomes and management of the local wildlife and habitats.
These methods help to maintain conservation approaches for some of the many endangered species and more.
Where this project will take place.
Guyana is a small country in South America within the Guiana shield. The population is considered to be ethnically diverse, with 9 indigenous tribes. These populations are mostly concentrated on the coast meaning that more than 80% of Guyana is still covered in forest. The Iwokrama forest is a vast wilderness, covering 1 million acres of lowland rainforest. It is estimated that Iwokrama alone holds close to 120 million tons of carbon, which is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of the U.K. Iwokrama boasts an exceptionally diverse range of habitats and ecosystems. This biological diversity is truly remarkable and is one of the reasons the Iwokrama forest is considered one of the last frontier forests on earth.
At the moment there are growing concerns for the environment. Deforestation and the recent substantial loss of forests due to fires have had a severe impact. To protect the biodiversity and develop income for local communities, a programme has been set up with the goal to minimise the impact on the incredible wildlife while giving the locals financial stability. This is done through sustainable forestry which can be monitored, causing minimal disruption to the forests.
I am currently an animal behaviour student with a keen interest in the conservation of animals. Volunteering on this research expedition I will be working with professional academic researchers. From this, I will gain knowledge for my future work. Aiding Operation Wallacea in the daily activities of the following research projects;
- Neotropical ecology and conservation, through lectures and workshops
- Participating in surveys to sample herpetofauna, large mammals, bats, beetles, birds, and forest structure
- Assisting with river surveys along the stunning Essequibo and Burro Burro Rivers
- Learning about reduced impact logging as a revenue-generating method that also maintains the overall structure and diversity of the forest.
- Conducting research to help scientists compare the range of species in areas of the forest at different stages of the programme, from pristine wilderness to logged sites.
- Developing ways where humans and animals can coexist without loss or destruction ensuring positive redevelopment for the environment.
To raise funds for the expedition I will be running 62 kilometres along the east coast with a total ascent of 1931m. The run will take place on the last weekend in May 2021, if restrictions will allow.
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