The training plan for park guards was recently approved through the Plurinational Competency Certification System of the Vice Ministry of Alternative and Special Education and under the framework agreement between the Ministry of Education and the National Protected Areas Service of (SERNAP), To date, this training has contributed to the certification of 198 park guards, representing almost 70% of park guards working within protected areas of national importance.
However, both the Ministry of Education and SERNAP identified the need to move beyond the certification of competencies and promote the professionalization of park guards to a technical level. To this end, the Complementary Training Plan for Park Guards was drawn up. Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) collaborated with the Ministry of Education and SERNAP in the preparation of the plan, as well as in the design and implementation of the training activities.
This training plan covers three technical levels: basic technician (Protected Area Park guard), auxiliary technician (Technician in Conservation of Natural Resources) and medium level technical (Technician in Environmental Management, Conservation and Management of Natural Resources). The study program focuses on key aspects of protected area management: conceptual, institutional and regulatory framework of the protected area system, control and vigilance (including SMART), planning and territorial management, mitigation of impacts of infrastructure (including the Mitigation Hierarchy), integral monitoring, management of natural resources, tourism, climate change and risk management, culture and conservation, social participation, environmental education and communication and administration of goods and services. This training program is comprised of specific modules that are taught both within the classrooms as well as through practical work in the field, regular evaluations are also carried out.
Consequently, this process plans to ensure a continuous pathway to professionalization of the park guards and the certification of their studies, in order to strengthen their capabilities and commitment towards conservation of protected areas.