On Friday 10th June 2016, the Nariva Swamp and Coastal Zone Pilot Protected Area (PPA) Sub-Committee, made a second site visit to the PPA. This site visit involved:
Wildlife Watch Team in Mazanilla
|Orientation of field trip participants to the pilot protected area at Manzanilla Beach|
Manatee Research Station and Incoming Tour Operators Association
The Manatee Research Station is managed by the Manatee Conservation Trust, a local environmental non-governmental organization (NGO). The organisation work to conserve the manatee population at Nariva, specifically the "Big Pond" area. Monitoring is being undertaken to derive present estimates the population.
|Representative of the Manatee Conservation Trust shares information on the group|
The Sub-Committee also headed south to Kernahan Village briefly stopping off at the 'Boatline', the main starting point forboat tours into Nariva Swamp organised by the Incoming Tour Operators Association. It was not clear whether local boatmen access clients directly or their capacity to provide them with ecological information on the Swamp.
Agricultural DevelopmentIt was observed en route Kernahan Village, roadside stalls selling watermelons, a staple crop in the area. A team of Agricultural Extension officers gave the Sub-Committee a description of the type of farming that occurs in Kernahan and specific challenges. These challenges include the issue of agricultural leases issued to areas south of the border of the proposed pilot protected area, agricultural squatting, unregulated use of pesticide cocktails entering waterways and fire setting to name a few. These have implications for the integrity of the pilot protected area.
Land preparation for agriculture on the outskirts of Bush Bush Wildlife Sanctuary
Bush Bush Wildlife SanctuaryThe Sub-Committee had the opportunity to visit Bush Bush which was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1968. They observed several flora and fauna distinctive of to the Sanctuary such as Cocorite Palm, blossoms of a Cannonball Tree, a small snake and an iguana. Continued conservation of this area will provide opportunities to let the average person see these aspects of nature.
|Cannonball tree blooms|
A view across the Nariva Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA)
At the conclusion of the site visit, the Sub-Committee reflected on the value of the supporting contributions of key stakeholders and the first hand sight of the existing management issues in the pilot protected area. With this information in hand, the Sub-Committee looks forward to continued progress in developing a management plan appropriate for this unique site.