‘’ “Empowerment of IPLCs and Biocultural approaches to wildlife management and conservation” (S-38)
Fish is an important food resource for the twenty communities of the North Rupununi. In 2011, communities developed the North Rupununi Fisheries Management Plan as a result of a decline in fish resources overtime. In 2018, with assistance from the Sustainable Wildlife Management Programme (SWM)-Guyana, the North Rupununi District Development Board, which is a representative body for the North Rupununi communities, and the Fisheries Department-Ministry of Agriculture, began implementation of this plan. The NRDDB fisheries management plan supports conservation and sustainability of fish resources and promotes co-management of resources. The results of the implementation of this plan will assist communities in identifying areas which needs special protection to manage fish stocks and stem further decline. The specific objectives of this collaboration is to establish guidelines that will ensure careful use of fish resources in the North Rupununi that can be adjusted using information from monitoring, to ensure community members have equal access to fish resources for home use and for selling and support communities’ ability to create and enforce resource management by-laws for fish use.
The role of partners
The NRDDB and its communities are the implementing body on the ground, integrating the traditional knowledge to a scientific approach in fisheries management which includes river monitoring, coordination of fisheries field research and data collection, data analysis and educational awareness at the local level. In addition, the NRDDB feed information to the Fisheries Department for better decision making. The Fisheries Department is the representative body at the national level in support of NRDDB’ Fisheries plan implementation and policy makers.
The lesson learnt on co-management:
The village councils, Fisheries department and NRDDB staff are the decision makers, planning and implementing the ground work. The implementation process began with awareness and seeking free prior and informed consent of the communities. Scientific and local knowledge are gathered and shared between partners to further develop and implement the management plan. Also, co- management is critical for a better and improve the policy planning, this building a stronger working relationship. However, challenges were encountered in communication between implementing partners, substantial funding and Covid-19 Pandemic locked down to villages.
Sustainability, conservation, management, research, development, knowledge, traditional, environment, fisheries,