General information
Summary
Description
Threats
Recommended solutions
Conclusions
References

 

 

 

The great interest in El Ávila is evidenced by the number of research projects that have been conducted in the park. Carlsen (1999) lists 83 research projects in El Ávila. Many projects pertain to some aspect of the park's biodiversity. Among them are a list of the fungi by Iturriaga & Jackson, and a mammal inventory carried out by Jorge Naveda, both published in 1988. Dr. Winfried Meier carried out research on the flora and fauna of the park in 1998 and Dr. Chris Sharpe completed an inventory of birds in 2001.

 

Most conservation programs are directed toward solutions for forest fires. With the help of the Chinotto and Panamco Bottle companies, INPARQUES conducts reforestation and maintenance programs for an important firebreak on the southern slope. In 2001, a command center was built to control forest fires across the country. It includes members of the National Guard, Civil Defense, INPARQUES and the Ministry of the Environment. The Coordinator of Forest Fires of INPARQUES, Germán Gutierrez, informed us that in 2001 an external monitoring system was installed and it is run by the National Guard. The Guard is also in charge of training 400 men in firefighting techniques and has at its service a special helicopter for fighting forests fires.

 

Proyecto Avila is an alliance that works for the conservation of El Ávila and includes the Universidad Metropolitana, INPARQUES, the conservationist organization Vitalis, the Fundación para la Conservación de los Árboles (FUNDARBOL) and the oil company Exxon Mobil. This group maintains the firebreak close to the university, designed a botanic nursery for educational and reforestation purposes, promotes environmental awareness among the university community, and offers environmental courses on subjects related to the management of the national park.

 

By 2007, 53,000 million bolívares (US $53,000,000) will be spent by the Ministry of the Environment on fire prevention throughout the country. This program supports prevention, maintenance and reforestation of firebreaks, as well as agreements between public and private companies. With regards to the Capital District, the program includes El Ávila and Macarao National Parks and the Caracas protected zone. In addition to this funding, 2,000 million bolívares (US $ 2,000,000) is set aside for purchasing firefighting equipment including extinguishing equipment and vehicles for transporting water.

 

The Ministry of Science and Technology is researching urban design solutions to avoid tragedies like the mudslides of 1999. Interestingly, these large-scale mudslides seem to be periodic, having occurred in the late 1800s, in 1948 and again in 1999.

 

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