Nigel John, Elvis Joseph, Henry James and Hendricks Simon.
These may not be names you know yet, but they are four men doing work that affects each and every one of us. What they protect, we benefit from every day.
Nigel, Elvis, Henry and Hendricks are Conservation International’s (CI) Conservation Officers in Guyana, working to patrol, monitor, and protect the 81,000 hectare (200,000 acre) conservation concession in southern Guyana. Although they come from varied backgrounds, the men tell similar stories about their development as students, community activists, family men and passionate defenders of biological diversity, forests and fresh water.
Guyana’s population is modest and the country’s forests are remarkably pristine. Many of the people there, particularly in remote areas, struggle to make a living, drawing most of their sustenance from the landscape. CI’s Guyana Conservation Officers not only work with local communities to protect the forest, they help to make the case that a thriving forest and abundant rivers are bountiful treasure that provide both economic opportunity and the physical needs of life.
The officers patrol the river and forest paths, combat illegal activities and travel to distant communities “raising awareness of conservation,” says Joseph. “We have to be the managers of our own resources,” he adds with pride.
As with his co-conservationists, the officers are protecting resources from which all of us will benefit.
IN DEPTH: Check out more of CI's projects in Guyana.