Merida, 14th January 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Over the weekend Brazilian and Venezuelan authorities met in Canaima National Park and agreed to collaborate in tourism and the preservation of the area.
Canaima National Park is located in Bolivar state, Venezuela, and is bordered by Guyana and Brazil. It covers 30,000 square kilometres and is the sixth largest park in the world. It is the main place where Tepuis, or table-top mountains are found, and also includes the world’s tallest waterfall, Angel Falls. The Pemon people also live in the park. The Taurepan group of Pemon live along the border between Venezuela and Brazil.
One of the Tepuis that is most popular with tourists, and also the highest Tepui, is Roraima, located to the very south of Canaima National Park, and on the border between Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil.
On Saturday, the governments of Venezuela and Brazil agreed on an ecological plan to preserve the national park and Roraima.
“Today we have seen the amount of rubbish that tourists leave in this beautiful scenery. We came to evaluate implementing a program of preservation of the entire national park, not just Roraima, but also the Great Savannah and other tepuis,” said Venezuela’s tourism minister Andres Izarra during a visit on Saturday to the area with the Bolivar state governor, Francisco Rangel, and the Brazilian ambassador to Venezuela, Ruy Pereira.
The authorities also conducted an evaluation of the tourist services in the area, and agreed to implement an entrance program which makes Roraima also accessible from Brazil.
According to Izarra, over 40,000 tourists visited the national park over the recent holiday season. He said 8,000 of those came there via Brazil. The total figure, he said, increased by 30% compared to last year.
Once the holiday season is over the national government and the state government of Bolivar will start a clean-up, Izarra said. He called on volunteers to help out as well. Izarra also handed out 2,500 “environmental preservation kits” in the area.
Marvin Sanchez, founder of Venezuela 4x4, a non profit ecotourism organisation which accompanied Izarra in distributing the kits, said that many tourists don’t stick to the established paths, something that was concerning because land in the savannah “is very fragile”.