The Sustainable Guyana Program, a unique strategic partnership aimed at training Guyana’s future leaders in sustainable development, is welcoming its first cohort of students to Canada and to Trent University.
“The Sustainable Guyana Program builds on Trent’s longstanding relationship with the Guyanese nation and we are delighted to welcome the first five graduate students to Canada and Trent’s Symons Campus in Peterborough,” said Dr. Cathy Bruce, acting vice president, Research and Innovation at Trent University. “With Trent’s leadership in the natural sciences, environmental studies, biomaterials and sustainability and our world-class facilities and faculty, our commitment is to help prepare these students with the knowledge and skills needed to play a key role in enhancing Guyana's environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability.”
The Sustainable Guyana Program was launched in 2019 as a groundbreaking partnership between Trent University, the University of Guyana, CGX Energy Inc. (CGX), and Frontera Energy Corporation (FEC). Through the program, a total of 12 current lecturers at the University of Guyana will enter graduate programs at Trent focusing on areas key to sustainable development. These qualified leaders will in turn train a cohort of students at the University of Guyana in sustainable development. This initiative comes at a key juncture as Guyana embarks on a developmental trajectory as an oil-producing nation.
CGX, Guyana’s pioneering Indigenous oil and gas exploration company, and FEC invested $5 million in the program to enhance and increase the educational, research and innovation talent at the University of Guyana and ultimately contribute to the country’s growth and transformation. The program is designed to advance local knowledge, skills in research and sustainable development. All research conducted within the program will address the achievement of one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as they apply to Guyana.
The inaugural group is excited to commence with their work at Trent University after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed their arrival in Canada by nearly six months. All five students were awarded full scholarships to pursue their graduate degrees at Trent. Following completion of their research, the students will return to Guyana with new skills to contribute to future initiatives supporting sustainable economic growth in the country.
“I believe there are many natural resources in Guyana with untapped potential,” said Malaika Persaud, one of the students in the program who is pursuing a Masters in Sustainability Studies at Trent. “These resources are valuable, environmentally friendly with long-term benefits, but would be lost without planned interventions for exploration, conservation and sustainability.”
Ms. Persaud is joined by Stacy James in Trent’s Sustainability Studies program, with Chetwynd Osborne, Hamant France, and Ewart Smith enrolled in Trent’s Environmental & Life Sciences graduate program.
More about the students:
- Chetwynd Osborne, Environmental & Life Sciences: Chetwynd will be focusing on the impact of gold mining on water quality of riverine systems across watersheds of South-Central Guyana.
- Ewart Smith, Environmental & Life Sciences: Ewart’s research focuses on non-traditional timber products and sustainable forestry, with an emphasis on understanding the structure and biochemical function of beneficial components within certain species found in the Guyana rainforest.
- Hamant France, Environmental & Life Sciences: Hamant will be working on the use of tropical hardwoods found in the Guyana rainforest as precursors in the production of activated carbons with aquatic environmental remediation as a goal.
- Malaika Persaud, Sustainability Studies: Malaika will be working on developing a natural product from a botanical used traditionally in Guyana that can serve as a valuable resource with medicinal properties.
- Stacy James, Sustainability Studies: Stacy will focus her research on the functional applications of sustainable natural products based on the Crabwood in Guyana’s rainforests.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
Cara Walsh, Communications & Media Relations Officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or firstname.lastname@example.org