General information
Summary
Description
Threats
Recommended solutions
Conclusions
References

 

 

 

Population growth and land use changes

 

These various processes started a long time ago and were mostly halted by the drafting and implementation of the land use zoning plan; however, many problems remain to be solved. Fortunately, INPARQUES has a word to say in the Nueva Esparta State Territorial Ordinance Commission, where decisions are taken after achievement of a consensus among the various participants. INPARQUES is currently finishing its proposal to increase the park's size and exclude impacted areas like La Sierra and its surroundings. A similar action should be taken to address the agricultural plots inside the park, but with INPARQUES' current budget crisis, the relocation and reforestation of these areas is not possible.

 

Budget, Hunting and Forest fires

 

The park's main problem is the inadequate budget. This problem results in a severe lack of infrastructure, personal motivation and sufficient personnel, decreased surveillance and an increase in hunting and fire pressures. The inadequate budget has affected the park for a long time, and the budget size is the consequence of a lack of political will from the various governments and INPARQUES's weak institutional capacity, which is forced to accept smaller budgets year after year. Due to budget restraints and the country's current political crisis, the only solution might be to draw the government's and the public's attention to the fact that all conservation activities will come to a halt if the situation does not change soon. The government will continue to believe that parks can function with a reduced budget as long as the superintendents and park rangers continue to pay park expenses out of their pockets. The only way INPARQUES will receive the budget it deserves is by proving the parks can no longer function with present budgets.

 

Personnel and infrastructure

 

The park holds a great potential for the development of nature trails and recreation areas for visitors and local schools. The island's appeal to visitors should be taken advantage of in order to promote nature tourism in the park. Fuentidueño people have some valuable experience in this field and could become instrumental in generating income for the park, which could help improve the services provided to visitors and the relationship with the local community. Along the same lines, initial investment in infrastructure improvements could come from tour agencies willing to provide these services within a concession-based system. The creation of new recreation or service areas in the park would result in the creation of employment. A way to increase personnel without cost to INPARQUES would be to form alliances with the Mayor or other sectors of local government.

 

Antennas

 

The antenna area should be declared a security zone in order to solve the current authority problem. This is compatible with the objectives and characteristics of the park. A governmental agency, like the Venezuelan Air Force, could take charge of the management and security of the land surrounding the antennas. This could be combined with surveillance activities that would benefit the park and relieve INPARQUES from certain costs and risks to its personnel.

 

Lack of research and outreach, exotic species introduction

 

In order to solve a number of problems currently faced by the park, a thorough research program should be implemented. This could also raise interest for the park's ecologic potential. The Ministry of Science and Technology has an agenda with funds for this purpose; however, superintendents of individual parks must explicitly state their needs. Similarly, the existence of Cerro El Copey National Park should become familiar to islanders and to the thousands of tourists that visit the island each year. This could be done at relatively low cost by designing and printing flyers and through televised campaigns in educational or commercial tourism programs.

 

Copyright © 2004 ParksWatch - All Rights Reserved