Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) is collaborating with the Iwokrama International Centre (IIC) here to enhance the sustainable economic activities in protected areas in Guyana.
A release from the Mexican Embassy yesterday said that the project focuses on the exchange of experiences and best practices to enhance economic activities such as eco-tourism, commercialisation of organic products and handicraft.
It also seeks to bolster indigenous communities’ engagement in the conservation of the protected areas. This project comes under the Mexico-Guyana Bilateral Cooperation Programme.
The release said that two experts from CONANP, Erika Morales and Manuel Juandiego visited Guyana between April 24 – 29 and shared the progress achieved and strategies devised for Mexico’s 177 natural protected areas with Project Managers from IIC, Vanessa Benn and Raquel Thomas and with the Commissioner of the Protected Areas Commission, Damian Fernandes.
The Mexican experts had the opportunity to visit the Iwokrama River Lodge and Research Centre where they learnt about Iwokrama’s programmes including business development.
They also learnt of the involvement of the Amerindian communities in the co-management of Iwokrama during a meeting with the North Rupununi District Development Board at Bina Hill, Annai. A visit to Surama Village, the release said, gave them a first-hand look at the model community tourism product that has been developed there.
The Mexican experts, the release said, discussed the current work being done at Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in Mexico involving the use of local communities for the production of honey, handicraft and articles for export to certain niche markets.