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Guyana's Pakuri Arawak Amerindians Create "Parrot-Safe" Zone
Wednesday, December 17 2003 @ 05:19 AM UTC
Contributed by: Admin
Views: 6616
Conservation On September 17th, 2003 Chief David Simon of the Pakuri Arawak territory signed the Nancy Lewis Cullity Parrot Protection Act making the entire territory, of some 240 sq. miles, safe for parrots. The national government of Guyana now allows for the export of 30,000 parrots from this nearly pristine ecosystem and is now threatening the survival of many species of parrots with extinction. This act is the first of it's kind to become law on an indigenous reservation in all of Latin America & Chief David Mark Simon becomes the first indigenous leader to make this noble first step.

NLCPPA.html

Nancy Lewis Cullity Parrot Protection Act

Pakuri Arawak Nation, Guyana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


September 18, 2003
Contact info:
USA: Marc Johnson, Foster Parrots Ltd. (781) 878-3733. Email: Marc@fosterparrots.com
Barbados: Damon Gerard Corrie Fifth Hereditary Paramount Chief of the Eagle Clan,
Arawak Nation, Guyana (246) 228-0227 Email: pantribalconfederacy@hotmail.com

Historic wildlife protection model is created for Indigenous communities worldwide as Guyana's Arawak Nation takes first step to preserve native parrots

Nancy Lewis Cullity Parrot Protection Act signed into law by Arawak Nation of Guyana.

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On September 17th, 2003 Chief David Simon of the Pakuri Arawak territory signed the Nancy Lewis Cullity Parrot Protection Act making the entire territory, of some 240 sq. miles, safe for parrots. The national government of Guyana now allows for the export of 30,000 parrots from this nearly pristine ecosystem and is now threatening the survival of many species of parrots with extinction. This act is the first of it's kind to become law on an indigenous reservation in all of Latin America & Chief David Mark Simon becomes the first indigenous leader to make this noble first step.

This courageous and ground breaking step was initiated by Barbados born Damon Corrie, heir to the hereditary Chieftaincy (now ceremonial) of the Eagle Clan of the Arawak nation. Mr. Corrie's desire to protect the natural balance of his people's territory was reinvigorated after a visit to the village by Brian and Nancy Cullity in 2000/1. While visiting, Nancy's love for parrots and the need to protect them meshed with Damon's own respect for his birthright and for the desire to encourage eco-friendly tourism to Guyana. Nancy's untimely death of cancer served as the impetus for Brian to establish a continuing relationship with the Arawak people and he and Marc Johnson of Foster Parrots revisited the village in 2002/3. While there the need for international support for an effort to save the dwindling parrot populations led Damon to petition the elected Chief David Simon to enact a law, drafted by Foster Parrots Ltd., protecting the parrots of their territory from hunting, for food and for the pet trade.

Foster Parrots hopes to enlist the help of other like minded individuals and organizations to assist in the tree planting, captive breeding program and artificial nesting site construction needed and it is hoped that this act will serve as an example to the other clans of the Arawak to follow suit and set their native lands aside as preserves.

For more information about the Pakuri Arawak Amerindian nations please visit: www.GuidedCulturalTours.com

A Courageous Effort

On September 17th of 2003 an historic and unique event took place to begin the effort of establishing an oasis of safety for all parrots within the 240 square mile territory of the Pakuri Arawak Amerindians. This journey began in December 2000 when Brian and Nancy Cullity, board members of Foster Parrots, visited this natural and beautiful land. Guyana is one of the few nations on earth today that is largely unspoiled. With a population of under 800,000, most of whom live on the coast, it still offers the traveler a unique and rugged view of the rainforest. If one looks at a map of projected rain forest destruction, Guyana and its neighbor Suriname are two of the few places that will be left with the potential of seeing any of this endangered ecosystem. Currently the national government allows the exportation of some 30,000 parrots from its shores destined for the European and Asian markets. It does not take any imagination to see that before long there will be no parrots left here unless something is done to save them now.

Brian gives a scratch to a Black headed Caique while Nancy serves as a perch to a Brown Throated Conure, just two of the more than 30 species of parrots found in Guyana.

Brian and Nancy were two of the first people to adopt a parrot, a Senegal parrot named Sebastian, from Foster Parrots back in 1993. Brian and Nancy had made many trips to South and Central America and they had a deep understanding and love for the people and the unspoiled lands they visited. They also had a deep appreciation for the wildlife which led them to seek an adoptive relationship with a parrot here in the US. Sebastian left them both with many battle scars but the importance of their relationship was much deeper than just this one bird. While spending time with Damon, Barney, Gal and others in the village Brian and Nancy impressed Damon with the need to preserve the natural wildlife if there was ever to be any hope for an eco-tourist business that would bring some financial gains to this community. Their deep love of the birds of Guyana made an impression on Damon and he began a tortoise preservation effort, buying tortoises from vendors in Georgetown and thus saving them from the fate of being eaten.

Damon Gerard Corrie, Fifth Hereditary Paramount Chief of the Eagle Clan, Arawak Nation, Guyana.

Below, inspecting the tortoise pen.

Similar efforts are planned for the iguanas sold in the markets for food and it is hoped that these species among others will be reintroduced into the village.

Brian and I revisited this village in December of 2002 and we had the opportunity to talk with Damon at length about the need to start the preservation and reintroduction process now, while there were still wild parrots in the area and while there was still time. Fully realizing that for the eco-tourism potential to be realized something more than just giving the potential visitor something to look at was vital. Damon realized that he needed to show the world the depth of the commitment by this village in preserving the "wild" life of the land around them. Damon convinced the elected chef that this was a road to be traveled by the entire community and perhaps the entire indigenous nation of the Arawak people. To this end the following act was written by Foster Parrots and signed into law by Chief David Mark Simon on September 17, 2003.

OFFICIAL TRIBAL COUNCIL LAW
OF PAKURI ARAWAK TERRITORY

Nancy Lewis Cullity Parrot Protection Act

I, David Mark Simon, duly elected Chief/Captain of Pakuri Arawak Territory, St. Cuthbert's Mission do, on this 17th day of September, 2003; hereby decree that all hunting of parrot /macaw species for ornamental uses, food, re-sale or export from the 240 Sq. miles of Pakuri Territory/St. Cuthbert's Mission reservation lands will henceforth be illegal and deemed contrary to the values and our spiritual link to the land that has sustained our people since the dawn of time. Further, for each parrot/macaw captured by or sold to non-residents or deliberately killed the offender/s will be subject to a fine determined by a judicial sitting of a majority of the Tribal Council members.

I further proclaim that we should consider this protection of parrot & macaw species to be part of our inheritance and thus we should all do our part to promote the successful re-introduction of parrots & macaws to ensure their survival among us. Towards this goal I encourage all residents to cultivate food sources such as the Ite' palm and to refrain from disturbing parrot/macaw feeding, nesting and roosting areas. To assist us in these noble efforts we shall enlist the spiritual and financial support and alliances of like-minded people around the world who believe they share the responsibility of restoring the natural balance of our lands and Guyana's fragile ecosystems.

Exemptions to this law will be made for:

1. Those actively involved in the captive-breeding of parrot & macaw species for re-release of the offspring back into the wild.
2. Those who wish to keep a parrot/macaw as a companion with the provision that these captive specimens will be given a semi-free existence and the freedom to wander among the trees and in our village.

Any and all parrot/macaw feathers used in tradition/non-traditional crafts or for ceremonial purposes MUST be either naturally molted feathers by living specimens or from naturally deceased specimens.

Signed into Official Tribal Council Law,

Date: September 17,2003 Signed: David Mark Simon

Now, it is time to put our money where our hearts are. For the parrot guardians and conservation groups here in America that wish to be able to visit a place where they can experience the freedom of parrots and also be moved by the experience of being in one of the worlds last wild places. We hope that we will be joined by anyone who understands the need for parrots to be preserved in their natural environment, wild and free.

Please visit www.CorrieBusinessGroup.com/productions for more information on how you can help.

Click on picture to zoom in on this Greenwing Macaw.


  


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