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EditPhoto Title:Supporting Low-carbon Livelihoods in Guyana
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EditImage Description:Woman peeling cassava in Guyana
EditPhoto Credit:© Pete Oxford/iLCP
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Conservation International ​is helping to apply a low-carbon development strategy to help secure a healthy and sustainable future for the culturally and biologically rich Rupununi region in southern Guyana.

The strategy involves designing and pilot testing innovations for climate-resilient, sustainable business models for community tourism and agriculture. At least 23 community-based enterprises will benefit directly, impacting some 42% of the region’s total population.

We are working together with communities and other key development and business partners to enable the growth of sustainable local enterprises that are necessary for the medium- to long-term sustainable development of the region. Our work includes diagnosis and interventions within market systems as well as​ enabling greater access to capital and demand-driven business networks.


Our role

CI is working to demonstrate that natural resource-dependent local and indigenous communities can sustain and enhance their livelihoods, while maintaining the natural ecosystems that provide essential services such as fresh water, food, biodiversity and carbon sinks.


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Edit Item Title:Baseline studies and support to specific interventions
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Edit Item Text:CI is collaborating with leading organizations to assess baseline conditions related to the environment, economy and culture in the Rupununi region. Participatory value chain analysis and market potential assessments are being conducted in collaboration with Practical Action-Latin America; and, through collaboration with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, an innovative “State of Food and Agriculture” study is being conducted to evaluate the region’s contribution to food, income and employment. The project provides on-the-ground support in business planning, financial management, tourism and agriculture services. 
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Edit Item Title:Building an alliance between business and community
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Edit Item Text:CI facilitates networking and relationships between owners and users of the natural resources in the Rupununi region — developing joint responsibilities as well as opportunities for sharing costs, marketing and branding. Through the project, we have facilitated the interaction of community businesses with the wider private and public sector for essential markets and support.
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Edit Item Title:Rupununi innovation fund
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Edit Item Text:Local and international investors have given seed funding to establish a loan fund for development of low-carbon enterprises. By financing community enterprises, this fund will promote synergies between low-carbon development, maintenance of ecosystems and good business practices. Administrative arrangements for the fund have been established with a local financial institution, the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry.
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EditImage Alt Text:Local Wapishana Macushi children at Nappi village in the Kanuku mountains
EditTitle:By the numbers
EditSubtitle:73 participants
EditText:73 participants from communities, businesses, the private sector, NGOs and financing institutions attended the first Rupununi Business Forum held in collaboration with the Rupununi Chambers of Commerce.
EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Haroldo Castro
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      Edit Section Title: The state of food and agriculture in the Rupununi
      Edit Section Title Style: h3 Green
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        Edit Image Description: Sydney Allicock, a village leader, ecotourism pioneer, member of Parliament, and CI partner from Surama Village, Rupununi, Guyana, shares the plants from the vegetable garden in the village eco-lodge with his grandchildren. © CI/Photo by John Martin
        Edit Text: In partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), we are working to deliver a groundbreaking study of food and agriculture in the Rupununi. The study will extend beyond the assessment of enterprise potentials of Rupununi agriculture to analyse vulnerability as well as food and nutrition security. This study will provide recommendations to advance the food and nutrition security of the region and to enable agricultural enterprises to take advantage of existing opportunities. It will apply methods used by the FAO in similar studies carried out at the global scale, but it will represent the first time that the FAO has examined a specific sub-national region.
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        Edit Photo Credit: © CI/Photo by John Martin
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          Edit Section Title: Rupununi tourism
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            Edit Image Description: Buff-necked ibis in the Rupununi.
            Edit Text: The unique combination of natural and cultural resources in Rupununi is the basis of its fledgling, but important, tourism sector. In fact, tourism is one of the important sources of income in some communities. The region is currently one of the most visited in Guyana, primarily for birding, sport fishing and wildlife viewing. An impressive number of species — more than 1,400 vertebrates — can be seen with relative ease in the Rupununi. Tapping the tourism potential of the region is central to the sustainable growth of the region.
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            EditQuote Text (Do not add quotation marks):[Guyana] reflects what’s authentic, culturally rich, sustainably minded — and, of course, superlative in the world of travel today.
            EditQuote Attribution:National Geographic, “Best Trips 2014” list of 21 destinations
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            More of Our Work Links

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            First Image

            EditTitle:Climate
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            EditImage Alt Text:Night falls over Rio de Janeiro. © Nikada

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            EditTitle:Science and Innovation
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            EditImage Alt Text:Scientists set a camera trap. © Benjamin Drummond

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            EditTitle:The Ocean
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            EditLink:/what/Pages/oceans.aspx
            EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse