Iwokrama hosts meeting for wildlife clubs - Feb 2016

On Feb 6 and 7, Iwokrama hosted a workshop for wildlife club members of the North Rupununi. During the 2 day meeting, indigenous youth took part in activities that encouraged learning about resource management in hands on, fun manner.

On day 1, Iwokrama rangers, Richardson Haynes, Martin Carter, Micah Davis and Courtney Peters worked with participants to conduct a research project to determine the difference of birds found in the forest or in the garden area. Rangers showed participants how to set a mist net to catch birds, remove, weigh and safely identify the birds caught in the net. The short research project showed that although the same number of species was found, species were different.

Head Ranger, Micha Davis, gave a presentation about Iwokrama and its activities and rangers showed a video about the benefits of being in a wildlife club and explained their past experiences as club members. Mr. Zack Norman from Wowetta, explained the development of wildlife clubs with Iwokrama and his experience working with clubs.

Later Mr. Norman also spoke about the history of arapaima management in the North Rupununi and Vivian Smith from Rewa spoke about how Rewa Eco Lodge see the importance of conserving the arapaima though catch and release fly fishing. Photographs from the recent rescue mission of arapaima in the Rewa were also shown to participants. Arapaima are the largest scaled fresh water fish in the world and the North Rupununi District Development Board partners with national regulatory agencies to co manage this fishery. At the moment, arapaimas, an endangered species, are being threatened by low water in the ponds caused by drought conditions.

 

During the meeting Ranger Courtney Peters led elections for a youth representative and Jelissa Moses, Wowetta, was elected as the North Rupununi Junior Wildlife Development Council (NRJWDC) rep and will represent youth and wildlife clubs on behalf of the NRDDB.

 Participants also requested that 11th Wildlife Festival be held from March 21 – 22. They suggested activities, location and regulations. They suggested this year’s festival theme, “Respect the Power of Nature for the Future” and requested Rupertee Heritage site as the venue.

Wildlife festival is a celebration of indigenous culture and environment. Iwokrama hosted the inaugural festival in 2001 and the 10 subsequent festivals. During these, over 250 youth from 16 clubs came together to compete in activities including a costume and banner parade, competitions in cotton spinning, cassava grating, archery, poetry, art as well as other games. Youth also prepared cultural presentations to showcase for the evening’s show.

Iwokrama would like to thank all those who attended the meeting as well as acknowledge the GEF’s Small Grants Programme which made this meeting possible.