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Designating a protected area at Karanambu Ranch, Rupununi Savannah, Guyana: Resource management and indigenous communities



Designating a protected area at Karanambu Ranch, Rupununi Savannah, Guyana: Resource management and indigenous communities



Ambio 27(3): 207-210



In 1995, the writer assessed the feasibility of designating Karanambu ranch in the northern Rupununi savannah, Guyana, as a protected area. Karanambu is one of Guyana's leading ecotourism destinations, popular because of the well-publicized interest of its owner, Diane McTurk, in conserving the endangered giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis). It had been suggested that such a protected area could be financed by expanding the existing ecotourism operations and connected with development programs benefitting local Macusi Amerindian communities. However, questions soon emerged concerning potential conflicts with Amerindian land rights and the effect that a protected area would have on traditional resource-management practices. Fieldwork was carried out between April and November 1995 involving Rapid Rural Appraisal of local indigenous Macusi communities, combined with an Environmental Impact Analysis at Karanambu. The study recommended the establishment of a research station at Karanambu accompanied by a small Nature Reserve, rather than a more extensive protected area. This station, already under construction, will provide a focus for visiting scientists and increase the sustainable ecotourism potential of the ranch. It is to be combined with wildlife farming to provide additional employment and economic opportunities for local communities.

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Accession: 008435156

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DOI: 10.2307/4314717


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