British politician David Lammy today inaugurated the Sophia Point Research Centre in Guyana.
Mr. Lammy, who is a Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons, and was born to Guyanese parents, said the Research Centre forms part of his efforts to give back to the country of his parents.
The Sophia Point Research Center is touted to be an environmentally conscious facility that will be constructed at Sophia Point on the Essequibo river.
Its aim is to enable Sophia Point’s mission to transform education and conservation in Guyana.
The Centre will also serve as a training base for local students and community members, a field site for researchers and conservation practitioners for the international science community.
It is also expected to provide a platform for students, academics and researchers to study terrestrial, fresh water and marine research and will facilitate research beyond the biological sciences.
“On this journey we have been spurred by the enthusiasm and the excitement at every level across the country of what Sophia point could represent—a space for young Guyanese to be inspired and to inspire others to better understand and to protect the vitally important rainforest and to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills to champion their environment for generations to come,” Mr. Lammy said.
But at its core, Lammy explained that Sophia Point is about building capacity for locals to adapt and respond to climate change and to provide critical climate services.
“This has been designed in consultation with academics, field practitioners and locals to ensure the space will support the best in the field of research and teaching while importantly meeting the needs of Guyanese first. It will be a site to ground learning through doing, to open the doors of environmental conservation and to link Guyanese students and community members and world leading academics together,” Lammy noted.
Mr. Lammy said, the Centre will provide the avenue to fully understand the country’s rainforest resources, which will be beneficial to citizens of Guyana, the Caribbean and South America.
“Now feels like an immense time of change in Guyana and we have the opportunity to do something rare in environmental efforts, to take action to prevent rather than cure and to deliver a transformation in how we live alongside nature. I believe that that is only possible through education, advocacy and empowerment,” He explained.
The Research Center will boast a solar-powered, multi-purpose lecture theatre/lab space, with internet access and basic lab equipment for researchers to conduct analysis.
The accommodation block will be able to host as many as 24 persons.
A dining space will also be built into the main lecture building to support long-term research.