Agricultural expansion, human colonization, and deforestation
The recent proposal formulated by the National Parks Institute and the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources to expand the boundaries of El Ávila National Park is an initial step toward guaranteeing the legal protection of the Alfredo Jahn Cave basin. However, this proposal should take into account the fact that there are already inhabitants conducting agricultural activities within the proposed area of expansion. This problem will require a social solution. One option would be to limit agricultural use to those zones presently being cultivated and offer technical advice to farmers regarding better use of soils. The Ministry of Land and Agriculture could participate in such a project. If it is taken into account that damages affecting the geologic processes of the cave are already occurring in the Cambural sub-basin, it may be considered necessary to relocate these inhabitants. In this case, the Ministry of Land and Agriculture could become involved through the National Land Institute program.
The capacity of Alfredo Jahn Cave for tourism should be considered when promoting it as a tourist attraction. Recommendations should be made that visitors only enter the cave in small groups, with adequate equipment and guides who know the system of passages. The importance of the natural monument and its conservation should also be highlighted for visitors.
Lack of personnel and equipment
Taking into account the overlapping functions of the El Ávila National Park rangers, it will at least be necessary to hire additional park rangers, and obtain the corresponding infrastructure and equipment, in order to improve monitoring and enforcement of the area. One of the existing advantages of the monument is the warehouse located near the cave. It serves as a point of reference and information, where the park ranger and guides can be found and equipment, such as flashlight and helmets, can be rented. The volunteer groups that have made signs orienting visitors to the cave are important allies.
Signs made by volunteer groups located near the warehouse and on the path to Boca 6 of the Alfredo Jahn Cave