ExxonMobil Foundation Invests US$10 Million in Guyana for Research, Sustainable Employment and Conservation
- New collaboration established between ExxonMobil Foundation, Conservation International and University of Guyana
- Program to advance Guyana’s sustainable economy through investments in education, research, sustainable management and conservation of the country’s vast ecosystems
- Part of ExxonMobil’s long-term investment in supporting local priorities in Guyana
IRVING, Texas & GEORGETOWN, Guyana--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ExxonMobil Foundation said today that it will contribute US$10 million to a new collaboration with Conservation International and the University of Guyana to train Guyanese for sustainable job opportunities and to expand community-supported conservation.
The investment is also intended to support Guyana’s Green State Development Plan, the country’s 15-year development plan that aims, among other things, to diversify Guyana’s economy and balance economic growth with the sustainable management and conservation of the country’s ecosystems. The ExxonMobil Foundation will provide the investment over five years.
Initial grant money will fund a feasibility study driven by Conservation International, through its affiliate, Conservation International Guyana, to further define the details of the program. Once defined, Conservation International Guyana and the University of Guyana will deliver the education, training, research and retention programs that will help ensure that economic growth reinforces Guyana’s environmental development goals.
The investment is also intended to expand conservation areas in the Rupununi Wetlands, aid mangrove restoration and management and support improvements to community-based fishing on Guyana’s coast, a sector the government of Guyana has identified as critically important to the wellbeing of the Guyanese people, and support the work of the University of Guyana’s Greening Research and Innovation Centres.
“This partnership will support the highest conservation priorities for the country as well as education and training for sustainable employment,” said Kevin Murphy, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. “It reinforces the government’s objectives as outlined in its Green State Development Strategy and demonstrates the value we place on our long-term relationship with the citizens of Guyana.”
“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.”
“A central feature of Guyana’s development plans is its Green State Development Strategy which envisions a commitment to a green economy, sustainable development and protection of its forests and fresh water resources aligned with the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals,” said Professor Nigel E. Harris, chairman of the University of Guyana Council. “Funding support for a collaborative effort between Guyana’s leading university, Conservation International and ExxonMobil Foundation promises a critical opportunity to build relevant teaching, research and outreach capacity at our university that is necessary to underpin Guyana’s 2030 Vision for an inclusive, green and prosperous state.”
At this stage, Conservation International anticipates that training will be focused on environmental innovation and sustainability, and on entrepreneurship in nature-based sectors. Conservation International will tap its partnerships with key international universities such as Arizona State University in the United States to help develop the programs.
Conservation International is the grantee and the University of Guyana a key beneficiary. Conservation International, with over 20 years’ experience in Guyana, will take the lead in managing project objectives and implementation, including success measures as well as financial and reporting requirements of this multi-year partnership. Conservation International has been working in Guyana with over 50 communities to protect nearly 3 million acres of indigenous lands while also improving livelihoods.
ExxonMobil is placing an emphasis on supporting local priorities, including business and employment opportunities as well as broader community programs in Guyana. The company has spent about US$39 million with local suppliers in Guyana through 2017 and first quarter 2018. Approximately 68 percent of ExxonMobil’s current in-country employees are Guyanese.
About the ExxonMobil Foundation
The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) in the United States. The foundation and the corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, with a focus on math and science in the United States, promote women as catalysts for economic development and combat malaria. In 2017, the ExxonMobil Foundation, together with Exxon Mobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates along with employees and retirees, provided $204 million in contributions worldwide.
ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international energy company, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil is a global leader in LNG project execution and holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is one of the largest refiners and marketers of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world. For more information, visit www.exxonmobil.com or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/exxonmobil. Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is the affiliate in Guyana.
About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International, the groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign and its series of virtual reality projects: “My Africa”, "Under the Canopy” and “Valen’s Reef”. Follow Conservation International's work on our Human Nature blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About University of Guyana
The University of Guyana (UG) was established by act of parliament in 1963. It is the country’s leading tertiary institution and Guyana’s only national university. With a current enrollment of some 8,000 students, UG has graduated more than 40,000 students who have gone on to successful careers locally, regionally and internationally. Over 65 percent of its graduates are absorbed in the local workforce. The university is also a major contributor to the national economy and to business and industry. UG expanded in 2000 with the addition of the Tain Campus. It now offers more than 90 undergraduate and post-graduate programs including engineering, environmental studies, forestry, urban planning and management, tourism studies, education, creative arts, economics, law, medicine, optometry and nursing. Several online programs are available and UG also offers extra-mural classes at four locations across Guyana through its Institute of Distance and Continuing Education. UG also offers the opportunity for student engagement in debating, sports, and cultural, religious and professional activities. Visit www.uog.edu.gy.
UG's undergraduates could conduct research - Vice-Chancellor
IN a bid to further elevate the profile of the University of Guyana (UG), Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, is touting the participation of undergraduate students in research projects.
Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI) recently, Professor Griffith said that a university of substance is not only in the business of teaching but of enabling new knowledge to be created. That new knowledge, he said, is created through research and publishing. The Vice-Chancellor said officials from government and civil society should be able to turn to the university to seek out experts in particular areas.
According to him, that is the place where the country’s premier tertiary institute hopes to go through research. Back in 2016, the university launched an undergraduate research programme, which has seen much success. “I have seen the power of getting undergraduate students involved in research. The idea is to get students from the first year, not waiting until your third and fourth year to be involved in research,” he told DPI.
Professor Griffith recalled that in April of 2017 at the Tain, Berbice campus, several students presented their research papers. According to the Vice-Chancellor, the question is how to motivate students to become involved in research, and lecturers to publish with their students. The answer to this, he said, is that the University has to become affiliated with organisations. It is hoped that students from the University of Guyana could also travel abroad to present their research papers.
“It is not going to be a peer-reviewed A1 scientific journal, but it is setting the stage for them to be comfortable with having research as something that they do and using that research as something they do to move to the other level,” Professor Griffith explained. That next level could be postgraduate studies or moving into the workforce, but having research capabilities, enhances the student’s research sense of self, while at the same time elevating the profile of the university, the Vice-Chancellor said.
He disclosed that part of the university’s plans for re-organisation in this area will see the establishment of a deanery for graduate studies and research. Speaking about the recently-launched University Press, the Vice-Chancellor said the entity now has a board with a number of overseas-based members and is headed by Professor Ken Danns.
In March of 2017, the university signed an agreement with the Ian Randle publishers out of Jamaica, one of the largest established, scholarly publishing houses to establish the UG Press. The intent of that, Professor Griffith said, is to enable research and publishing, and create a mechanism. “The press is part of the project of the renaissance of lifting the credibility of the publication. The University’s Press is hoping to publish books, journals, monographs and significant lectures. There are also plans for digital publications, Professor Griffith said. (DPI)
UG represented at the McNair Scholars Research Conference
Seven Students from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Guyana (UG) were selected to participate in the Florida International University (FIU) McNair Scholars Research Conference 2017, from Wednesday, October 19 to October 20, 2017. The conference is being held at the FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus, the participants from a number of institutions will share their research and explore graduate studies possibilities.
The contingent consists of six undergraduates and one faculty member. Joenitta Arthur-Mc Kenzie of the Department of Biology will speak on her research assessing the prevalence of intestinal parasitic helminths in children of Silvercity, Linden, Guyana. Puja Jaichand of the same Department well present her work on the consumption patterns and the economic impact of wild-meat on the Essequibo Coast. From the Department of Chemistry, Lisa Dublin will present on the development of highly mesoporous activated carbon from coconut shells for water treatment, while Rajiv Indrajeet will present on the characterization of the physicochemical properties of various cassareep available on the local market for the purpose of preparing a grading standard for local cassareep. From the Department of Computer Sciences, Alicia Layne will be presenting on an integrated health information systems for improved diabetic outcomes in Guyana and Owen Grant will speak on his work focused on distributed object computing – complexity reduction and interoperability. The students will be accompanied by Ms Diana Seecharran. Assistant Dean of the Faculty.
The Faculty sees this as an opportunity to showcase the valuable scientific work its undergraduates conduct annually. More importantly we see this as an opportunity for our students to gain exposure, build international networks and explore their graduate study options in the US. Participation in this conference is now used to motivate students to an even higher level of performance in undergraduate research.
The Faculty of Natural Sciences is grateful for the opportunity to participate in this conference once again and for the support of the University of Guyana, Florida International University and other donors for their generous contributions to the venture.
This is the second time that the UG will be participating in this annual event. In 2015 the Faculty sent a team of five to the conference. Feedback from the students and staff as well as the conference organisers was extremely positive. The students selected are among the best of the student researchers in each of the three departments in the Faculty with a research component in their Bachelor of Science programme. The selected students were then required to submit an abstract of their research for oral presentation or poster display to be evaluated by the conference committee. All submissions from the University of Guyana were accepted.
About the McNAIR Conference.
The McNair Scholars Research Conference is an annual activity under the FIU’s ‘Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program’ funded by the US Congress. The programme was named after Ronald E. McNair, an American physicist and astronaut who was killed when the space ship ‘Challenger’ disintegrated soon after take-off in January 1986. Ronald McNair is known for challenging segregation laws in South Carolina at age 9 so as to access library books. By the time of his death at age 35, he had earned a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), had been awarded three honorary doctorates and held the distinction of being the second African American and first Bahá'í to travel in space.
UG IN BRIEF
With a current enrollment of some 8,000 students, The University of Guyana (UG) has graduated more than 20,000 students who have gone on to successful careers locally, regionally and internationally. The University is also a major contributor to the national economy and to business and industry. Established in 1963 on a part-time basis with shared space at Queens College, UG moved to its own campus at Turkeyen in 1970 and expanded in 2000 with the addition of the Tain Campus. It now offers more than 60 Under-graduate and Post-graduate Programmes including the Natural Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Urban Planning and Management, Tourism Studies, Education, Creative Arts, Economics, Law, Medicine, Optometry and Nursing. Several online programmes are available and The UG also offers extra-mural classes at four locations through its Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE). The UG also offers the opportunity for student engagement in debating, sports, and cultural, religious and professional activities.
Public Relations Division
October 19, 2017
UG establishes a University Press
The University of Guyana (UG) and Ian Randle Publishers (IRP) of Jamaica signed an agreement on March 16, 2017 to establish The University of Guyana Press as the publishing arm of UG to create an outlet for the scholarly work of faculty and student researchers, as part of efforts to boost research and scholarship at the nation’s sole national university. The agreement takes effect on April 1, 2017, and will be in effect for an initial period of three years.
According to Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, “the establishment of the Press is both history-making and an important part of enhancing the brand of the university. It is an integral part of my Renaissance vision for our university.” The University of Guyana attaches great importance to this collaboration with IRP, which is the largest scholarly and commercial publisher in CARICOM.
The agreement was signed on behalf of the university by Vice-Chancellor and Principal Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, and IRP Board Chairman Ian Randle signed on behalf of IRP. The ceremony took place in Herdmanston Lodge, Georgetown, at the end of the presentation of the second Vice-Chancellor’s Renaissance Lecture which was delivered by Mr Randle on The Publishing Pillar of the Renaissance Bridge. Present for the historic occasion was Professor George (Ken) Danns of the University of North Georgia, who accepted the Vice-Chancellor’s invitation to serve as the founding chair of the International Editorial Board of the Press.
Both UG and IRP noted their intention to actualise the agreement fully to ensure the publication of deserving works by university faculty and students as well as scholars in the Diaspora, especially on matters related to Guyana and the Caribbean. Both Vice-Chancellor Griffith and Chairman Randle are committed to having the first UG Press titles available before the end of 2017.
In his remarks at the event, Vice-Chancellor Griffith announced that the Press will publish both books and journals, including Transition, a journal that has had a troubled publication history, and at least two new ones. He has in mind a Journal of Entrepreneurship, to link with the proposed School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, and a Journal of Diaspora Engagement, as the scholarly arena of the proposed Regional Center for Diaspora Engagement.
Mr Randle also gifted the University Library with 200 books, worth US$15, 000. The Vice-Chancellor received the donation on behalf of the University. He thanked the IRP Chairman for his kind expression of personal friendship and institutional support. He noted that “not only is Ian a friend of long standing and the publisher of my seventh book, but he is committed to enlarging the educational boundaries of Caribbean people through the availability of educational and popular material.”
The Vice-Chancellor seized the opportunity to present Mr Randle with the instrument of appointment as an Education Resource Ambassador of the university. Also inducted as a UG Ambassador was Ms Roxanne Reece, Director of Fly Jamaica, which was one of the co-sponsors of the Renaissance Lecture.
UG IN BRIEF
With a current enrollment of some 8,000 students, The University of Guyana (UG) has graduated more than 20,000 students who have gone on to successful careers locally, regionally and internationally. The University is also a major contributor to the national economy and to business and industry. Established in 1963 on a part-time basis with shared space at Queens College, UG moved to its own campus at Turkeyen in 1970 and expanded in 2000 with the addition of the Tain Campus. It now offers more than 60 Under- graduate and Post-graduate Programmes including the Natural Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Urban Planning and Management, Tourism Studies, Education, Creative Arts, Economics, Law, Medicine, Optometry and Nursing. Several online programmes are available and The UG also offers extra-mural classes at four locations through its Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE). The UG also offers the opportunity for student engagement in debating, sports, and cultural, religious and professional activities.
Public Relations Division
March 18, 2017
- The University of Guyana