***What is your role at the Kaw reserve?

The mission of the Kaw-Roura Nature Reserve is to conserve the natural heritage of these swamps, particularly the rare and endangered species like the Black Caiman (Melanosuchus nigra).  The reserve's team, true “nature police,” monitor the activities on the reserve in collaboration with the ONCFS, the ONF and the national police.  The team also engages in environmental studies and projects to more accurately estimate the specific richness and better understand the functionality of species and ecosystems.

***Can you sum up the richness of this reserve in a few words?
As the third largest natural natural reserve in France, with 94700 ha of land, the Kaw-Roura reserve presents a territorial mosaic offering a diversity of habitats.  These natural habitats formed by two large biogeographic zones (Kaw Mountain and plains) are made up of forests, rivers, flooded savannas, marshy forests, mangroves, and mudflats and shelter numerous species of plants and animals.


Just to give an idea of the diversity, there are; 516 species of birds, 133 species of mammals, 82 amphibious species and 155 species of fish.  Among these species 344 are fully protected.  Kaw Reserve houses an incredible variety of species including the world's only ruminant bird, the hoazin, jaguars, manatees, marine turtles, toucans, giant otters, etc.



***A few words on Black Caimans?

On a global level the Black Caiman is a critically endangered species and classified “in danger of extinction” according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  The northeast part of the Reserve, the Angélique Savanna, is home to one of the last stable populations of Black Caimans in the world.  The final remaining populations can be found only in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and French Guiana.  The Kaw Reserve, therefore, has an international responsibility for the conservation of this symbolic species in French Guiana. 



***What are the principle difficulties met by Kaw?

Due to the vastness of the territory it is relatively difficult to have effective surveillance. It is necessary to have the means, and above all, to collaborate with locals to better protect the reserve. United management is the key to ensure perpetual and reasonable management of the reserve.

It is vital that all users protect the general welfare of Kaw Reserve by reconciling conservation with human development.



***What is the role of football in French Guiana?

Football is starting to make a name for itself in French Guiana. Two remarkable Guianese players have been successful at a national and international level. Bernard Lama played for the winning French National Team at the 1998 World Cup and Florent Malouda plays for Chelsea. The sport will continue to develop in Guiana thanks to the French National Team's preparation for the next World Cup in Brazil in 2014. Sporting infrastructures and stadiums are being built and renovated throughout the country.

***Can you talk about the EAFC that seemed to have an impact on all of French Guiana?

It is the first tournament of its kind in French Guiana and because of this the RFO choose to sponsor the event, as did the communes of Roura and Régina and the regional counsel.  It is important to create public awareness and provide information about the importance of preserving the natural heritage, in this case the Black Caiman, of French Guiana.  The Black caiman is a symbolic species that the Guianese call “Féfé,” which is where the tournament's name “Féfé Cup” originates.  We had the opportunity to unite 400 people around shared values during one day of the event.  It is necessary to emphasize the compassion of local businesses in favour of the protection of their natural heritage and the determination of the zoos in French Guiana and metropolitan France that were associated with the reserve for the realization of this event.  We must remember that zoos also have an important role in the conservation of species in their natural habitat.  From the entire team of Kaw Reserve, I would like to give a huge thanks to all those who participated to make the first edition of the “Féfé Cup” a success; the partners, the participants, the visitors and the villagers of Kaw. 


***How was the EAFC tournament received by the local population?

Very positively.  The village of Kaw has about 50 permanent residents.  An event like this is an occasion for them to meet outsiders in a friendly, festive context.  The villagers were very involved in the organization.  They were present during the different preparatory meetings, set up stands,  set up the 31 July and took everything down after the tournament.  It was the Kaw youth who provided the musical entertainment; some passed through the village to remind people to use the provided garbage cans for their trash.  It was Kaw's “Clean Village” day.  The villagers were proud that the first Eco-Sys Action Football Cup on French territory took place in their village.  It is a beautiful demonstration that the Kaw villagers and the Reserve can work in synergy to the profit of their natural heritage.


***Another tournament next year?

Yes, of course.  Why not a tournament in Cayenne?  We have a few possibilities we need to look into.  In any case, a huge thank you to Eco-Sys Action for this concept; bringing people together in a friendly atmosphere which is athletic and brings awareness in favor of the protection of endangered species like the Black Caiman in French Guiana.