[www.inewsguyana.com] – Following increasing visitation to the Kaieteur Falls, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, through the Protected Areas Commission (PAC), has appointed four new Warden/Tour Guides from Region 8 to the Kaieteur National Park.
iNews understands that the newly appointed Warden/Tour Guides were selected from among the top candidates completing a week-long Tour Guide Training programme conducted in partnership with WWF Guyana. The training was conducted at the Kaieteur National Park and benefitted 19 representatives from four communities surrounding the Park.
With increased visitation to the Kaieteur Falls, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud has mandated the recently formed PAC to take steps to improve the facilities and enhance capacity to accommodate more visitors.
Further, Minister Persaud has charged the PAC to enhance its monitoring system of the Kaieteur National Park. Under the Wardens/ Tour Guides training programme participants received training on visitor services, biodiversity, and the area’s natural and cultural history.
This will now strengthen the Park’s ability to provide a unique, informative and memorable tour experience for its visitors. The new staff will also support increased research activities and improve the monitoring and patrolling of the Park.
Following their appointment, and with assistance from WWF, the new Wardens have already completed mapping and clearing of all established trails, honed their tour guide skills, and repaired many structures which were in need of maintenance.
Additionally, the PAC is now working to improve the Park’s main Guesthouse, and has already increased its capacity to accommodate more overnight guests. Work on the Tukeit Falls Guesthouse and Wardens Building at the base of the gorge is also in its final phase, and is expected to be completed by mid-year. The Guesthouse is funded by the German Government through KfW (German Development Bank), under the Guyana Protected Ares System Project.
Meanwhile, the PAC is working to complete the first Kaieteur National Park Management Plan, which was developed with support from WWF and drafted following extensive stakeholder consultations. It will be made available for public comment prior to finalization, as per the Protected Areas Act.
Although significant work remains to be done, the PAC is actively pursuing options to strengthen the Park’s management and improve the visitor experience at Guyana’s oldest Protected Area.