Image from page 81 of "The Conservation Atlas of Tropical Forests: the Americas" (1996)
Title: The Conservation Atlas of Tropical Forests: the Americas
Contributing Library: UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge
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Protected Areas Categories and Management Objectives of Protected Areas I Scientific Reserve/Strict Nature Reserve: to protect nature and maintain natural processes in an undis- turbed state in order to have ecologically representa- tive examples of the natural environment available for scientific study, environmental monitoring, education and for the maintenance of genetic resources in a dynamic and e\olutionary state. II National Park: to protect natural and scenic areas of national or international significance for scientific, educational and recreational use. III Natural Monument/Natural Landmark: to protect and preserve nationally significant natural features because of their special interest or unique characteristics. IV Managed Nature Reserve/Wildlife Sanctuary: to assure the natural conditions necessary to protect nationally significant species, groups of species, biotic communities, or physical features of the environment where these require specific human manipulation for their perpetuation. Abridged from lUCN (1984) Note: In 1994 lUCN adopled a revised protected area management classifi- cation system. For practical reasons the protected areas data given here is classified according to the former system. For further details of the re\ised catesories see IL'CN ( 1994) countries, including the Dominican Republic (SEA/DVS. 19901 and the British Virgin Islands (Putney. 1992). Lack of a clearly defined environmental policy is often responsible for a poor system of protected areas. In countries with no such policy, protected area legislation is frequently a response to conflicting priorities and emergency situations. In other countries, where laws exist, regulations for their imple- mentation may be absent. Alternatively, the laws may rarely be applied, penalties may be inadequate, or communication between government departments may be limited (Ramos. 1988). The result of all these problems is inadequate protection of the environment. Protected area managers in the Americas are quick to point out that the problems discussed above will not be solved until the environment is given a higher position on national agendas, and that this in turn depends on changes in economic policies, nationally and internationally (Putney. 1992: Torres. 1992; Ugalde and Godoy. 1992). The 198()s saw the appearance of many more NGOs in all Neotropical countries and. in response to weaknesses in the public sector, many of them now manage protected areas. There are at present around 50 NGOs in Ecuador. 80 in Peru and 500 in Brazil (lUCN. 1992). Those administering protected areas include Fundacion para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza which manages eight of Peru's protected areas, the Venezuelan foun- dation FUDENA which manages the Cuare Faunal Refuge and Ramsar site. Ecuador's Fundacion Natura which is responsible for two areas and participates in many others. Defensores de la Naturaleza which manages Guatemala's Sierra de las Minas Monteverde Cloud Forest. Costa Rica Monteverde is a private reserve of 105 sq. km established in 1972 located between 800 m and I860 m above sea level in the Tilaran mountains of north-west Costa Rica. The reserve is owned and managed by the Tropical Science Centre, a non-profitmaking Costa Rican organisation. In 1987. nearly 13.000 people visited the reserve. They stayed in small hotels in forest and agricultural land below the reserve boundarv. The number of hotels is growing as visitors increase, and associated services such as souvenir shops and restaurants are being developed. Agricultural encroachment on the lower Pacific slopes below the reserve was destroying forest and leading to ero- sion in the areas where the tourist facilities were located. These lower lying forests are seasonally important habitats for the reserve's fauna. In 1986. local biologists and farmers fonned the Monteverde Conservation League with the aim of protecting the lower Pacific slopes as a buffer zone for the reserve. They raised money locally from visitors and from international conservation organisations, some of the latter in the form of debt swaps. The League has purchased farmland in the buffer zone and is restoring natural forest cover on it. as well as trying to improve the conservation practices of local farmers. The League is also running educational programmes for local children. A guided trail has been established in a farmland/forest mosaic in order that visitors can observe the impact of past agriculture on the forest as well as the process of forest restoration. A recent initiative is the "children's rainforest" campaign. Children in Sweden. Canada. United Kingdom. Japan and Germany are raising money for the pur- chase of additional land for the reserve. Some of these chil-
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Mimtevenle cloudJtiiest. Costa Rica (WWF/Michele Depraz) dren visit Monteverde to have a look at what they have pur- chased. It is hoped that this initiative might grow into a loose network of private forest reserves located throughout the tropics, each adopted by a children's group. The Monteverde Conservation League provides a forum for debate of issues affecting the reser\ e and its surroundings. There is considerable discussion of the economic impact of tourism. Income to the reserve exceeded USS30.000 in 1987. and a cooperative craft shop selling local handicrafts has annual sales in excess of US$50,000. Many residents would like tourism to remain small-scale and are concerned that its benefits should not be excessively concentrated in the hands of a minority of people. Land prices are escalating and this is restricting traditional activities in the area. Source: Jim Crisp 78
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