EU-funded tourism, fisheries project for completion next month
A number of European Union-funded tourism and fisheries
projects started in 2009 are expected to be completed next month.
Head of European Union Delegation to Guyana, Ambassador Robert Kopecký visited Northern Rupununi, Region Nine during April 26 and Sunday to commission the Toshao’s Building in Bina Hill and to inspect another project funded by the European Union in Aranaputa, Woweta and Rewa.
All these projects are dedicated to boost tourism development and fisheries and are being implemented by Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development.
According to the EU yesterday, the project of building individual, organisational and institutional capacities for ecologically sustainable tourism development and fisheries management in the North Rupununi Wetlands commenced on December 23, 2009 and is expected to be completed by June. The total budget of the project was €300,000 of which the EU has contributed €270,000.
EU explained that 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.
Among other things, the projects are focussing on supporting NRDDB’s strategic and business planning to improve long term sustainability and enhancing fisheries management by extending the North Rupununi Arapaima Management Plan to cover all fish species.
It also includes the enhancement of individual capacities in fisheries and resource management and tourism business development and the enhancement of existing tourism products in Annai, Aranaputa, Woweta, Surama, Fairview, Rewa and Yupukari.
To improve the fisheries sector in the six 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 three 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.”
EU said that three of the communities are involved in developing aquaculture in their village since fish is the main source of protein. The communities 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, EU said.