Head of European Union Delegation to Guyana Ambassador Robert Kopecký works with Local Authorities in Northern Rupununi (30/04/2012)
Head of European Union Delegation to Guyana Ambassador Robert Kopecký visited the region of Northern Rupununi during 26 - 29 of April, 2012, to commission the Toshao's Building in Bina Hill and to inspect another projects funded by the European Union in Aranaputa, Wowetta and Rewa.
All these projects are dedicated to boost Tourism Development & Fisheries and are being implemented by Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation & Development.
The project on building of individual, organisational and institutional capacities for ecologically sustainable tourism development & fisheries management in the North Rupununi Wetlands commenced on 23 of December 2009 and is expected to be completed by June 2012. The total budget of the project is €300,000 of which the European Union has contributed €270,000. The specific objective of this project is to strengthen the organisational capacity of the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB), which is the umbrella body for the 18 communities of the North Rupununi.
The key areas of focus are:
- Support to the NRDDB strategic and business planning to improve long term sustainability;
- Enhancement of fisheries management by extending the North Rupununi Arapaima Management Plan to cover all fish species;
- Enhancement of awareness and development strategies to manage three key areas in the North Rupununi - Upper Rewa, Pirara-Karanambu-Simuni and the Surama Conservation areas;
- Enhancement of individual capacities in fisheries and resource management and tourism business development;
- Enhancement of existing tourism products in Annai, Aranaputa, Wowetta, Surama, Fairview, Rewa and Yupukari;
- Enhancement of the international marketing of the Rupununi community tourism products; and
- Building and establishment of research and tourism networks especially linkages to outside entities.
To improve fisheries sector in the 6 communities a manual was developed and management plans were drafted in consultation with each community. The objective is to establish sustainable fishing in the wetlands (rivers and lakes). Fisheries in the community can be described in 3 categories: on the community level, small scale fishing and commercial fishing. Permits are necessary for the latter. Workshops were held in the communities to create a better framework for fisheries, which defines fishing periods for certain species and explains new fishing techniques and methods.
Three of the communities are involved in developing aquaculture in their village, as fish is the main source of protein. They are interested in raising Tilapia (predator), a species that is not indigenous. The project is currently working to promote a local herbivore in the ponds.
In the area of tourism, the major activity is capacity building. Manuals in the area of financial record keeping, product development, services delivery, ethics and standard were developed. Workshops were conducted in the villages and tourism business plans are being finalised. Additionally, a small infrastructure project in each village is currently being undertaken.
The sustainable tourism and fisheries management project is nearing completion and will enhance the capacity of the communities in both domains.
From right to left: Ms Samantha James, Mr Michael Williams and Robert Kopecký commissioning the Toshao's Office in Bina Hill, Annai, Region 9, Guyana, on April 27, 2012.
From left to right: Mr Alfonso Forde, Tourism Coordinator, Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, Ms Pauline Lucas Cummings, Programme Officer, EU Delegation to Guyana, Mr Sixtus Nash, Chairman of Aranaputa Village and Robert Kopecký, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Guyana, all this in front of the eco-tourism cabin on Clarence Mountain, Aranaputa Village, Northern Rupununi, Region 9, Guyana, construction of which was financed by the European Union.
Bina Hill Institute, Annai, Region 9, Secondary School Students with Head of European Union Delegation to Guyana Ambassador Robert Kopecký.
Wowetta Village Eco-Tourism Office, Region 9, Guyana, financed by the European Union.
Rewa Village Eco-Lodge Office sign.
The Rewa Village inhabitants with Head of European Union Delegation Ambassador Robert Kopecký and the European Union funded cabins behind them all.
The future of Guyana, Mr Williams Junior, from Northern Rupununi, on the shoulders of Robert Kopecký.