Role of national parks in ecodevelopment
The foregoing sections of the chapter illustrated that Latin American forest, park and wildlife officers have been involved in the development of concepts and ideas for park management since the earliest international meetings. These leaders also worked on developing the definition and criteria for national parks and assisted in the preparation of a declaration of principles for park policy and management. But what of the practice of park management? Are the concepts and ideas being applied in the field?
Park management in Latin America was initiated in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela in the 1930's and 1940's. Land clearing and settlement for agriculture, grazing, water development and highway construction were initiated and accelerated in the 1950's throughout the region. Wildlands gave way to other land uses. It was apparent that the rational parks and forest reserves would soon become islands of nature amidst a sea of developed landscapes. Some extreme cases were obvious where the islands were green while the surrounding sea was becoming brown and dry with desolation.
The dichotomy of green islands and brown deserts, however exaggerated, expresses the attitudes of park management during the 1950's and 1960's. Antagonism was evidenced by the burning of park lands, gunfire, poaching of wildlife, timber and plants, and a general lack of cooperation between conservation managers on the one hard, developers and the general community on the other.
A major change in attitudes and approach was initiated in the mid-1960's. The aforementioned activities of IUCN, the FAO/LAFC, and CLAPN, the training efforts of the Interamerican Institute of Agriculture Sciences (of the OAS) and of FAO, and the various conferences on conservation in the United States, Europe and in Latin America, provided a new conceptual basis for park management: Conservation was to become a vital and integral element of development. Parks were to be managed as interdependent elements along with other activities and land uses in the rural landscape.
Was this really something new?... The role of national parks had always been purported to be conservation of nature for present and future generations of mankind. What was indeed new was the rapid rate of change in land use and development. For example, virtually every country of the region had instituted national planning and centralized coordinated procedures for the budgeting of public funds. In order to obtain a budget, public departments, including those for forestry, parks and wildlife, had to present detailed programs and projects to explain what would be done with the money. The planning ministries were faced with mounting requests for land, public funds, educated and trained personnel and imported equipment. With increasing economic growth and development these resources became scarce and competition for their use increased among departments.
Departments responded with even more elaborate plans and programs which enumerated the costs and the benefits related to their proposed activities. In relation to national parks, the forestry, parks and wildlife departments found themselves in the rather undignified situation of "not producing anything" and costing a great deal! They spoke of "protection" forests in contrast to "production" forests; of "saving" nature as opposed to "exploiting" it.
There is as yet no acceptable comprehensive accounting system for the inputs and outputs related to national parks. Some items, such as building materials, gasoline, machinery and vehicles, are bought and sold on commercial markets and therefore have established prices and costs. Most inputs and outputs of national parks, however, are nonmaterial goods and services (so-called intangibles) or are not measured in the market place (so-called incommensurables). Even though water and a flowing stream, a cultural monument, an inspiring view, and the genetic materials of wild species are very real, they simply do not carry a price tag.
The role of national parks in development and conservation in Latin America cannot be presented in neat numerical form, with tables and curves, all translatable into the common denominator of U.S. dollars. Nevertheless, these goods and services exist; they are being utilized and enjoyed constantly by millions of individuals; and their absence or loss would be felt directly by the entire population of the region and world. On the cost side, land, public budget and the skills and time of managers, planners, scientists, builders and maintenance men are being spent on the management and development of these resources and wildland areas.
In Chapter I, the conceptual framework of wildland management designated a particular part for national parks to play in ecodevelopment. Ten objectives were suggested for park management. It is intended that these statements of objectives express the original concepts of "national park" in terms of current language and the need for relevance to environmental management and economic and social development. (See Table II-1.)
The primary objectives of national parks are those which dominate management throughout the entire area of the park: (1) to maintain representative samples of major biotic units as functioning ecosystems, in perpetuity; (2) to maintain ecological diversity and environmental regulation; (31 to maintain genetic resources, (6) to maintain sites and objects of cultural heritage, and (5! to protect scenic beauty.
Also primary, but restricted as necessary to portions of the area of the park to avoid conflicts in management, are the provision of facilities and services for (1) education, research and environmental monitoring, and (2) for recreation and tourism.
A final primary objective of national parks is to support rural development and stimulate and sustain the rational use of marginal lands.
There are two associated objectives for national park management: (1) the maintenance of watershed production, which may dominate the management of particular areas in the park, and (2) the control of erosion and sediment and the protection of downstream investments.
Normative Objectives For The Management Of National Parks1
1 Taken from Table I-1.
These associated objectives generally act as norms to guide all management and development activities in the park.
If these conceptual objectives for park management are acceptable then the,, can serve to orient a review of the current role of national parks in ecodevelopment.
Maintain Representative Samples of Major Biotic Units as Functioning Ecosystems in Perpetuity
The role of national parks in the maintenance of samples of major biotic units as functioning ecosystems For perpetuity can be examined on a preliminary basis by relating the location of current parks to the zonification of major biotic units. Two problems are evident: first, there is little universal agreement on a system of classification of biotic units of the world; and second, it is necessary to work at a mapping scale in which it is difficult or impossible to show accurately the boundaries of national parks and biotic types. A system which offers a preliminary assessment of the situation has been proposed by Dasmann35 and IUCN.36 (Details on the system are presented in Appendix II-E.)
The biotic provinces of Latin America are shown in Figure II-1. The national parks included in the 1974 United Nations List37 are classified by biotic provinces in the right-hand column of the Figure. Based upon the Dasmann/IUCN classification system there are 48 biotic provinces in Latin America. There were 120 national parks and equivalent reserves acceptable to IUCN standards in 1974. Twelve provinces have only one area managed as a national park while 24, or one-half of the provinces, have two. The Southern Andean province has 17 samples managed as parks. And, finally, twelve provinces have no samples whatsoever which are managed as parks.
There are further criteria to consider before drawing any conclusions on the role of national parks in the maintenance of samples of the major biotic types of the region. The objective states that the sample to be maintained must comprise a functioning ecosystem and be dedicated for perpetuity.
An ECOSYSTEM (biogeocoenoses) is basically a "biotic community" interacting with its physical environment....
Ecosystems are functioning entities composed of plants, animals, micro-organisms, and inorganic substrate of soil, rock or water, and with access, direct or indirect, to the atmosphere and to sunlight as a source of energy. Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems exist always within a particular climate provided by the interaction of sunlight and atmosphere, and terrestrial ecosystems require a source of water. All parts within an ecosystem interact with one another, either in an immediate sense or over the long term.38
Source : IUCN . Biotic Provinces of the World. IUCN Occasional Paper No. 9. Morges. 1974.
An ecosystem is considered to he complete when all of its COMPONENT PARTS are present in the appropriate relationships with the environment and each other. It is clear that the SHAPE and SIZE of the area to be maintained are of direct importance to the long-term viability or the ecosystem. (See Table II-2.1 The INTERNAL LAND USE of the area, such as for recreation or research, will have direct bearing on the ability of the area to sustain a functioning ecosystem. An;., the EXTERNAL INFLUENCES of the adjacent lands upon the maintained ecosystem are crucial. Just as neighboring ecosystems are interdependent, so will a national park be interdependent ecologically with the surrounding landscape. The flow of surface and ground water, the migration of species, weather and climatic patterns and the many forms of mar-caused pollution are among the many influences which affect the self-regulatory abilities of an ecosystem.
The final provision of the objective is that the representative sample he maintained as a functioning ecosystem in PERPETUITY. Given that the technical aspects such as size, shape, component parts, internal and external influences will permit that an ecosystem will remain viable, there remain the political and social aspects which in the long run are perhaps Prong the most significant or the factors. Perpetual dedication of an area to national park status requires strong POLlTICAL COMMITMENT AND DECISION. The government of a country must be informed and convinced of the importance and necessity of national parks. Measures must have been taken to establish and manage such areas or a continuing basis with personnel and funds. Behind this factor lies SOCIAL COMMITMENT AMP DECISION. The people must be aware and informed about the relevance of national parks to their environment, livelihood, heritage, and future, and they must be prepared to support park management and respect park management practices.
Several conclusions can be drawn concerning the role of national parks in maintaining representative natural areas. One-third of Latin America's biotic provinces do not have representative areas under national park management. One-quarter of the biotic provinces have only ore national park. Therefore, as a minimum requirement to reach the objective, additional national parks are required in twelve biotic provinces. Another twelve provinces have only one park. Where land use is yet rapidly changing, or where the parks are small or composed of fragile ecosystems, at least one additional park should be established in each province.
There is little numerical evidence to judge the ecological integrity Or the parks already in existence. However, it is clear from the resolutions and recommendations of the meetings of CLAPN, FAO/LAFC and the First World Conference or National Parks, that there is concern about the lack of ecological integrity of many parks around the region. Personal observation will confirm that upstream catchments lie outside the boundaries of many parks. The hydrological regimes are often cut, leaving water supplies or drainages for estuaries, coastal lands and swamps, outside of the parks. Many animal species migrate outside of the protected areas or do not find all of their habitat requirements within the parks.
SIZE OF NATIONAL PARKS IN LATIN AMERICA
Source: IUCN. 1974 United Nations List of National Parks and Equivalent Reserves, Morges, Switzerland.
*Includes small islands.
The size of most parks in Latin America is small for the maintenance of self-regulating ecosystems. Fifty-three percent of the parks are under 10,000 hectares in size. Eighty-three percent are under 50,000 hectares. Only some 16 percent are 200,000 hectares or larger. Were the majority of these small parks to be surrounded by intensive agriculture, urban or industrial development, there would he serious doubt about the viability of these ecosystems. Fortunately, most parks are little used for direct visitation as yet, and conflicts among internal uses are minimal.39 Thus, park managers wild still have time to organize their park programs before the arrival of intensive pressures experienced elsewhere.
The external influences are challenging to most parks. In common around the region are poaching of animals, timber and plant materials, pressures and interference from tourism and the related physical developments, highway development, invasion by landless settlers, and attempts to extract natural resources.40 Most parks have remained relatively free from the direct negative effects of such pressures. However, of greatest concern is the interrelationship between the parks and surrounding land uses. Fire, pesticides and land clearing are commonly found at the immediate boundary of parks and little attention has been given to coordinating management activities with adjacent land users.
The factor of perpetuity is fragile and perhaps utopian. It depends upon stability of land use, long-term planning, broad dissemination of information, conservation education in the schools, and a sensitive and responsive political system. With few exceptions, however, every established park in virtually every country of the region, has survived the changes resulting from economic development, revolution, agrarian reform and colonization, and population growth.41 In spite of the general lack of governmental and public awareness concerning the relevance of national parks to the development and conservation of the human habitat, the Latin American experience to date demonstrates reasonable political and social support for parks. This is especially noteworthy when placed into the relative context of other national development priorities for basic human needs.
However, the past record on the longevity and continuity of parks is not necessarily a basis upon which to predict the future. The fact that existing parks have not been declassified may reflect merely the lack of competition for the particular lands and natural resources, and for the small budgets allocated for park management. Mounting pressures for land and financial resources will challenge park management and major efforts will be required to maintain representative samples of the nation's biotic provinces in their natural state, in perpetuity.
Maintain Ecological Diversity and Environmental Regulation
It is not sufficient to maintain representative samples of each biotic type. Within any single type there is considerable variation of plants, animals and habitats. This is particularly true in tropical areas where great biological differences car he found during a day's walk in the forests, mountains and coastal areas. The same species take on different life forms and behavior. They take on different relationships with other species and with their environment. Furthermore, there are species which live upon other species, either utilizing the host only to gain a niche or to parasitize it of energy-giving substances. In environments which have been stable for millions of years, such as the tropical rain forests and coral reefs, the diversity of biological life reaches its maximum development.
It is generally considered that the stability of ecosystems is closely related to the number of species which interact in the environment. Perhaps this concept is more accurately stated in a different way. A stable environment tends to permit the evolution of complex ecosystems.42 While not fully understood, what is important is that some ecosystems can be disturbed and within a short time they function normally again. There are self-regulating mechanisms which give resiliency to the ecosystem. Other ecosystems become unstable after minimal disturbance and return to the original state only after long periods of time, if ever.
National parks can play an important role in ecodevelopment by approaching the problem from both ends. First, parks can be located and managed to maintain natural areas of high species diversity. In this way, not only sample representative areas of the nation are protected, but also the transition areas between them are protected. It is along such lines of transition that greatest diversity is often found. Second, parks can be located and managed to provide stability to ecosystems, with particular emphasis upon those which are of low resilience.
This role is closely related to the internal survival of the park and to the effect of the park upon the surrounding region. A stable ecosystem maintains its diversity and tends to be self-regulating. A stable ecosystem also effects the regulation of watersheds, insect populations, micro-climate, predator-prey relations and other less-understood factors. Therefore, environmental regulation is a necessary consideration if the park is to be able to meet the objectives over the long run, and if the park is to have full impact in favor of conservation and development.
Moreover, there is a dilemma: Generally, it is assumed that by their very nature parks maintain ecological diversity and environmental regulation. Yet, an inspection of many parks reveals that the objective could be better met by extending the park to cover an entire watershed, to embrace an entire habitat, or to revise the size or shape of the area. Realistically, however, it is often the case that the existing national park already includes all of the remnant wildlands.
Several examples can be examined to reveal how existing national parks relate to ecological diversity and environmental regulation. The Salamanca Island, Sierra Nevada, and Tayrona National Parks of North Central Columbia contain among them samples of life zones extending from permanent snow and glacier at peaks of approximately 5,800 meters (above sea level) down through "paramo", deciduous moist and dry forests, on to coastal formations, mangrove swamps and coral reefs. (See Figure II-2) In this combined protected area of 83,000 ha., over 300 species of birds are found, some of which are migratory. Several endemic species of animals inhabit the area and 50 species of coral have been identified thus far. Salamanca Island and Tayrona have had written management plans since 1968.43 The effect of the high-tower power lines across the length of Salamanca upon wildlife is unclear. Road construction caused changes in water salinity and affected the mangrove and other vegetation. In Tayrona, a paved highway was built into the park as part of a tourism development project. The highway actually crossed the scientific (primitive undisturbed) zone with large cut-and-fill engineering. The project was halted in 1974 by Presidential order.
The Manu National Park of Amazonian Peru is one of the region's most objectively designed parks in terms of diversity and environmental regulation. (See Figure II-4 and 5.) The park covers a variation in elevation from 5,000 m (asl) down to 500 m, encompassing "paramo" to tropical rain forest. Some of the areas of richest biological diversity, such as the oxbow lakes and stream-edge areas have been carefully included well into the interior of the park. And, the upstream catchments of practically all streams which traverse the park have been included within the park boundary. This design provides important insurance for internal ecological regulation, and in addition, offers to the region downstream beyond the park some stability of water regime.
The 10,000 hectare Santa Rosa National Park of Costa Rica contains tropical savannah, tropical dry forest and various coastal formations. (See Figures II-6 and 7.) The park was carefully designed to include the rich ecotones between savannah and forest, as well as between the estuaries and other coastal formations. The key stream catchments which regulate the estuaries of the park are included within the boundaries. The estuary and beach environments provide the ecological context for the nesting of thousands of marine turtles each year. Until the Southwestern corner of the park was purchased in 1977, the estuaries and lowland forest areas were endangered by timber harvesting and fire. Cattle from adjacent properties continued to graze freely in the park until 1977 regulations permitted their removal.
Six of Argentina's national parks are located along the eastern slope of the Andes mountains. (See Figures II-8 and 9.) These parks contain samples of the great ecological diversity which extends both latitudinally and altitudinally in the Argentine Patagonia. The northern parks cover from snow and glacier down to desert. Further south, the parks run down to semi-arid grasslands. In the south, the parks run from permanent ice fields down to the Nothofagus forests. In addition, the parks contain the headwaters of several of the nation's important rivers. While several of these parks lie within the single "Southern Andean biotic province", they should not be considered as repetitious. Taken together, these parks embrace much of the ecological diversity of the eastern slope of the Andeas mountains.
One of the national parks which is most integrally related to the maintenance of diversity and environmental regulations is Canaima in Venezuela. (See Figures IT-10 and 11.) The park was established in 1962 because of its intrinsic biological and scenic values including Angel Falls, the world's highest waterfall at 1,000 meters (3,212 feet). There was little doubt in the minds of the planners of the Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG), the professionals of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAC), and the national political leaders that the protection of the upper Caroni watershed was vital to the development of the then mushrooming Ciudad Guyana industrial complex.44 The supply of constant and inexpensive electricity was to he derived from the Guri Dam on the Caroni, reaching an output of 2,650,000 kilowatt-hours in 1977 and is scheduled to produce 9,000,000 following the second stage of construction which will raise the height of the reservoir to 270 m.45 In recognition of the importance of providing adequate management for the major portions of the upper Caroni watershed, it was recommended in 197446 that the park be amplified from one million to three million ha.
Several conclusions can be drawn on the role of national parks in the maintenance of ecological diversity and environmental regulation. Historically, park managers in Latin America have been particularly sensitive to the ecological aspects of nature conservation. Most parks have been raved out to include a range of life zones, transition zones, and samples of areas where land and water interact. In those national parks which were selected and established by ecologically-minded and experienced park managers, the diversity and regulatory factors were generally taken into account. Emphasis was also given to these factors where there was hydrological development.
The major problem lies in the fact that the transition zones are not only places of high ecological diversity, but also favorite sites for physical development. As wild be discussed in Chapter III, roads, recreation sites and other facilities are often placed along the margins between forest and savannas, along the narrow strips of land where water meets land, and at maximum tree line in mountain lands. The impact of development at key transition zones may offset the ability of some parks to maintain ecological diversity and environmental regulation.
Maintain Genetic Resources47
During the three billion years of development of Planet Earth, millions of species have evolved. Scientists predict that there are approximately 10 million species currently alive. Species represent one of humankind's most valuable materials as represented in the contributions they make to agriculture, medicines and pharmaceuticals. However, because of changing land use and the disruption of wild habitats, many hundreds and thousands of wild plants and animals face extinction in the near future. In fact, scientists calculate that some one million species will be eliminated by human activities by the year 2000. The rate of extinction appears already to be up to one species per day, and is expected to reach one per hour by the end of the century.48
This is an issue of major consequence to humankind and it is the result of many factors. Problems of land tenure, food shortages to poor families, and a series of social, economic and political injustices force millions of Latin Americans to scour the forests and mountain sides in search of survival. The introduction of modern strains of grains and livestock stimulate farmers to convert to improved varieties and to abandon unwittingly the wild and primitive forms. As demands for beef, coffee, cacao, bananas, sugar and other industrial crops increase, forests and grasslands are converted to pasture and agriculture.
There is little question that humans will continue to convert wildlands to other land uses in an effort to meet utilitarian requirements. From wild plants and animals have come algesics, antibiotics, cardio-active drugs, anti-leukaemic agents, enzymes, hormones and anticoagulants. Alkaloids of many types as well as such industrial commodities as gums, latex, camphor, resins, dyes, oils and rubber are being derived from substances found in the tropical forests. Many research projects currently underway in wild areas are searching for a cure to cancer and sources of economical energy from vegetable materials.
Agricultural plant crops require constant programs of breeding to keep ahead of insect pests and diseases. Maize, wheat, rice and sorghum produce one-half of the world's food supply. Yet the wild and primitive forms of maize are rapidly being eliminated in Mexico, Colombia and Bolivia. Similarly, the wild and primitive forms of other grains also are being lost in Asia and Africa. Current varieties of the grains which feed the bulk of the world human population have been bred for narrow ranges of climatic factors. Thus, if current indications are correct, the world is entering a cooler era with greater variations and extremes of climate. There will be a need to alter the varieties of grains being utilized.
Why not simply collect the wild and primitive genetic materials, place them in an envelope and keep them easily accessible in a refrigerator? This is being done for many grains, but it is only a partial answer. To collect and store genetic materials would presume that humans know what they want from the wildlands. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Six out of seven plants and animals have yet to be named and described to science. Their characteristics and properties have yet to be studied. It is difficult, if not impossible, to identify genetic traits from the observation of physical properties and vice-versa. This is critical since what needs to be conserved wherever possible is the living species and it variation. The challenge is not to protect individuals but gene pools. Since individual species are parts of communities, which relate to ecosystems that are tied together by natural processes, the question of the maintenance of genetic resources comes down to the management of wildlands.
One further complication: The key to maintaining genetic resources lies not merely in protecting areas, but in ensuring the stability of ecological systems in those areas. Whether natural communities are complex, such as in the tropical moist forests, or simple, such as in the grasslands, the diversity of species and the variation within species depends upon stability of the environment. Any disruptions in the environment will cause disorder in the interrelationships among species and between them and their environment.
So, in addition to the maintenance of representative samples of the nation's biotic provinces, and the maintenance of the nation's natural diversity and environmental regulation, this objective concerning genetic resources points out the need to choose those areas for conservation management which will protect species of importance to humankind's current and potential requirements. Implicit in this objective is the importance of maintaining stability within protected areas.
Some national parks of Latin America have given particular emphasis to the maintenance of large sectors in an undisturbed state. A prime example is the Iguazu National Park of Argentina. (See Figures II-12 and 13.) Of 75,820 ha, approximately 40,000 ha are managed as a zone for scientific purposes. Tourism and recreation are totally excluded. One-third of the park personnel are assigned to protect this zone. In contrast, up to 10,000 visitors per day observe the Iguazu Falls in another sector of the park.
Similarly, several national parks in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru and Surinam have been planned and managed to maintain sectors where human activities are severely restricted. As of the mid 1970's, Brazil and other Amazonian countries are placing major emphasis upon the role of parks in genetic conservation. To the extent that size and population densities permit, the parks under planning and development in Central America and Panama are also providing for such limited use areas.
In conclusion, national parks provide a method for conserving genetic resources. Where restricted-use sectors are established within parks to limit human activity severely, the necessary stability for maintaining genetic resources can be provided. Parks in Latin America are being managed to provide such protection and stability. However, the construction of roads and the initial phases of a tourism complex in the scientific zone of Tayrona National Park (Colombia)49 raises the question of just how well restrictions or human use can hold up in the face of other development pressures. The fact that construction of the tourism complex was haulted by presidential executive order when the facts about the role of the area were explained does provide some reason for optimism.
One concern is to ensure the survival of genetic materials in the existing national parks. Another, is to ensure that the plants and animals of greatest potential importance to humankind are provided adequate protection and the opportunity to continue to evolve. New national parks and other wildland categories must be established in locations where such genetic resources exist. This is particularly true of the tropical moist forests and marine areas. The major program underway in Amazonian countries, and particularly in Brazil, will be presented in Chapters VI, XI and XII. Work on the protection of marine areas is being included within the activities of park departments in spite of some critical problems related to jurisdiction and management capabilities. The Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Paracas (Peru), Cahuita (Costa Rica) and Tayrona (Colombia) are particular examples where the national park category is being applied to marine resources.50
Maintain Objects, Structures and Sites of Cultural Heritage
The cultural heritage of Latin America is managed under various types of institutions including museums, anthropological institutes, and ministerial departments. Cooperative efforts have been initiated recently between cultural and natural resource agencies in response to the growing need for integral protection, management and development of wildlands where cultural values are also present. Increasing tourism to these sites as well as land-use pressures for adjacent and surrounding lands have greatly supported this need. While national parks have been, and continue to be concerned primarily with the management of natural areas, there is a growing relationship between natural and cultural heritage.
Cultural values are found as objects, structures or sites. The objects are normally housed in museums or other modern facilities to ensure adequate protection including climatic control. Latin America is rich in cultural values which occur as structures from pre-Colombian and colonial periods. Religious monoliths, remains of villages, food storage and sport facilities remain from the Aztec, Maya, Inca and other indigenous groups. Spanish and Portuguese colonial homes and churches are to be found. And perhaps most spectacular, entire villages, fortresses and religious centers of pre-Colombian cultures are being restored. Entire plazas of colonial cities remain. In addition, there are historic sites where key historical events took place which had effects upon the region and even the world. These areas are often called "memorials" since these sites commemorate the place of the event in the absence of physical structures or remains.
From the point of view of wildland management two general approaches to cultural resources can be identified: First, where archeological or historical objects, structures or sites lie within urbanized regions, or where the objects of value lie within heavily modified landscapes, such resources are generally managed by cultural institutions in direct collaboration with museums, engineering and public works departments and municipal planning boards. These cultural values have little relationship with wildland management. Second, where the objects, structures or sites lie within natural landscapes where the natural resources possess high intrinsic value apart from the cultural motifs, or where the surrounding areas must be maintained in a natural state to conserve the scientific and scenic integrity and functional control of the cultural motif, such resources can be advantageously managed directly by the natural resource institutions or cooperatively by the natural and resource cultural departments. In this latter case, working agreements are generally made with the cultural institutions to study, plan and develop the cultural elements of the conservation unit cooperatively.
Examples of cultural monuments in non-wildlands include such extensive areas as Teotehuacán near Mexico City and Sacsehuamán Fort near Cuzco, Peru. Within every country there are cultural structures in urban centers including the colonial churches in the plaza at Cuzco, Peru, early government buildings in Bogota, and the homes, birth, death or meeting places of patriots such as those in Asuncion, Paraguay, 1a Paz, Bolivia and Santa Marta, Colombia. Most capital cities have erected monuments to commemorate independence and other important events. These monuments are often elements within urban parks containing gardens, sports areas and zoos.
Pre-colonial and colonial cultural heritage are being rapidly lost in the process of urban development and renewal. Great courage and foresight have been exhibited by the leaders and planning authorities of Antigua (Guatemala), Cusco (Peru!, Quito (Ecuador), Ouro Prieto (Mines Gerais, Brazil), Popayan (Colombia) and Santiago de Cuba (Cuba) among others, for the integral restoration of main areas. The architectural style of these towns and cities has been regulated and controlled to maintain these design characteristics and atmosphere. While life and work within many of the buildings is contemporary and even modern, the external environs related back to historic periods of great importance to the locale, nation and Latin America.
Tayrona National Park in Colombia provides an example where cultural values are found within natural areas. (See Figures II-14 and 15.) The Pueblito Archeological Site embraces the remains of the village of coastal Tayrona Amerindians at the time of the Spanish Conquest. In the mid-1960's when park planning at Tayrona was initiated, the planners noted that the site was being looted by illegal traffic in pre-Colombian artifacts including objects made from precious minerals. The landscape surrounding the site was being destroyed in the process by digging, burning and migratory agriculture in support of the looters. The management plan for the park51 recognized the importance of the indigenous culture as part of Colombia's heritage, and the interrelationship between the cultural structures and the surrounding landscape. The plan called for the incorporation of the archeological site into the national park. The National Park Division of the Institute for the Development of Natural Resources (Inderena) zoned that portion of the park to give primary attention to archeological research, reconstruction and interpretation to visitors.
The initial attraction of Costa Rica's Santa Rosa National Park was the old hacienda buildings. The structure and surrounding lands had historical value as the decisive battleground where the Costa Rican volunteer army turned back Filibuster privateers in 1856. (See Figures 11-16 and 17.) Investigation of the site and surrounding lands during 1967 and 1968 revealed the existence of tropical dry forests and biologically rich coastal and aquatic communities. In 1969, the integral cultural-natural park was proposed and established.52 and was placed under the authority of the National Park Service of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The "Rapa Nui" (Easter Island) National Park of Chile was established in 1968 with 4,589 hectares. (See Figures II-18 and 19.) The island is the home for some 1,000 resident Faster Islanders (Pascuenses), and some 500 residents from the mainland. In addition to the well known monoliths and structures, the island is dotted with agricultural activities, livestock grazing, orchards and traditional fishing sites. In an effort to formulate a harmonious approach to the conservation of cultural values and the development of opportunities for the Islanders and the nation, a team was sent in 1974 to prepare a plan which would integrate the many facets of conservation and development. The management plan called for the study, restoration, protection and interpretation of the cultural objects as integral elements of the landscape and in association with the Polynesian decendents.53 While the park embraces most of the island territory, the town of Hanga Roa, and agricultural and grazing areas are excluded and remain under the management of the relevant institutions. Various traditional uses of the park area by the Islanders are respected in the plan. And, the economic and social welfare of the Islanders is given priority. The park is managed by the Conservation Department of Chile's National Forestry Corporation (CONAF).
Three major sites of New-World cultural heritage - Tikal, Portobelo and Machu Picchu - are currently in phases of transition from the status of traditional archeological monuments to national parks or other wildland categories. The change implies that surrounding landscapes and their interrelationships with past cultural practices are recognized and included in the management and development programs. The 57,600 hectare Tikal National Park was established in 1957. The management and development of the spectacular Mayan pyramids and tropical rain forest setting were planned on an integral basis in 1971.54 (See Figures II-20 and 21.) The responsibility for the management of the park lies within the Institute of Anthropology and History. Cooperative activities with the Guatemalan Tourism Institute and the Guatemalan Forestry Institute are leading to the training of personnel and the protection and management of the extensive area.
The history of Spanish colonization of the New World is intimately linked with the Isthmus of Panama. Across the narrow land bridge the precious metals of the Incan Empire were carried from (Old) Panama City on the Pacific to the fortified bay settlement of Portobelo on the Caribbean. Through cooperative efforts of the Panamanian Tourism Institute (IPAT) and the General Directorate of Renewable Natural Resources of the Ministry of Agriculture, the fortifications and various historic structures are being protected and restored together with surrounding forest lands. Plans have been proposed for the establishment, management and development of the cultural structures and sites within the surrounding forests, beach lands, marine areas and bays as one integral Portobelo National Park.55 (See Figures IT-22 and 23.) Study and exploration out into the surrounding forests and down into the waters of the marine bays and estuaries reveal remains of Amerindian objects, Spanish transport, settlement, agriculture and battle facilities, early African slavery and settlement, English pirates and the early geopolitics of the New World. Likewise, the area contains samples of natural plant and animal communities ranging from marine to mountain habitats which warrant protection as a representative sample of the biotic province. Furthermore, the intensive rainfall makes it essential to maintain forests on the slopes and related watersheds to protect the cultural monuments from erosion and sediment.
The famous "lost city" of the Inca - Machu Picchu - in Peru has been undergoing restoration and has received tourism since shortly after the site was "discovered" in 1911. (See Figure II-24.) Until recently, primary consideration has been given to the investigation, restoration and protection of the ruins under the authority of the National Cultural Institute. Similar to the situations Tayrona, Portobelo and other sites, migratory agriculture and other rural land uses have begun to surround the sites and threaten the integrity of the surrounding landscape. Whereas early emphasis was naturally preoccupied with protection and restoration of the core area, subsequent research reveals that objects, structures and sites are also to be found in the surrounding forests and mountains. Furthermore, so long as the surrounding forests were left unaltered there was little need for concern. But now that the forests surrounding the site are being challenged, priorities have shifted and solutions must be sought. Through careful interdepartmental cooperation, regional planning, and the impetus of development for the long-term stable welfare of the rural population, the Peruvian Government extended the concept of archeological site to that of a national historic sanctuary.56
Each of the mentioned cases shares several common motivations for the integration of natural and cultural resource management: First, there is the need to maintain a natural, aesthetic or culturally consistent landscape around the monuments; second, there is need to maintain opportunities for archeological research in surrounding lands; and third, there is need to control the development and use within the monuments and nearby surroundings as well AS on the adjoining mountains, valleys, rivering or coastal strips. Specifically, management must control erosion, transportation, tourism, sewage disposal, energy. production and distribution, and the like.
From these examples it can be readily appreciated that national parks are playing a role in the maintenance of some of the region's most outstanding cultural heritage areas. While archeology and history have not normally been part of the traditional work of national park departments, the need to bring wildland management techniques into cultural heritage maintenance has provided the impetus for interdepartmental cooperation. From this effort, new land management practices and institutional mechanisms are being formulated to provide for the unified management of large composite natural-cultural parks.
There are many sites of national and international significance which are yet to be managed under some protective form of land use. In addition to many of the better known pyramids and fortresses, there are battlefields and other places of historical importance which are being destroyed by erosion or human activities. Among these sites with uncertain protection are the major battlefields of Bolivar, San Martin, Sucre and other revolutionary armies, the Sierra Maestra mountain camps and trails of Fidel Castro, important sites and trails in relation to the routes of the early European explorers and the "Las Cruzes" crossing the Ithsmus of Panama. The rode of national parks and other wildland categories in the maintenance of objects, structures and sites of cultural value require urgent attention. In countries such as Costa Rica, the national park service has been given responsibility to manage both cultural and natural areas of national significance.
Protect Scenic Beauty
As noted earlier, the protection of scenic beauty was one of the original reasons for the establishment of national parks. It was the spectacular qualities of the geysers and mountain scenery of Yellowstone which inspired the members of the Washburn-Doane Expedition to express their concern for the future of these resources.
Although it is subjective to categorize, judge and rate the values of scenery, it can be noted that most national parks in Latin America contain waterfalls, glaciers, snow fields, mountain peaks, and sand dunes, volcanoes, concentrations of wildlife, beaches and shorelines. Since the values associated with scenery are related to local culture, the criteria for the selection of scenic beauty are generally a matter of national scope. Each nation will tend to choose those areas for management as national parks which include examples of the scenic resources of greatest value to that culture. However, there are also scenic values which have received international recognition. These deal primarily with superlative features, such as the highest waterfall in the world, found in Canaima National Park, Venezuela.
Scenic beauty has been a major reason for the selection of many areas for management as national parks in Latin America. In some cases, however, areas were selected primarily to provide protection for scientific or recreational reasons, and any scenery which happened to be in the area was only consequently protected.
The fact that a park includes a representative sample of a major biotype, ecological transition areas, key genetic resources and perhaps a cultural site, does not automatically imply that scenic beauty will also be maintained. The protection of scenic beauty requires that the relevant resources be selected and managed as integral elements of the national park. (See Figure II-25.)
Several examples of the ways in which national parks serve to protect scenic beauty in Latin America can be noted:
The Tijuca National Park in Brazil lies virtually within the urban center of Rio de Janeiro. The park's 3,300 ha are divided into three discontiguous sectors consisting primarily of forested mountain lands which provide the city with a spectacular green backdrop. The park provides the urban dwellers and visitors with recreation opportunities, and originally it played an important role in protecting the city's water supply. (See Figure II-26.)
The 3 million ha Canaima National Park of Venezuela provides protection for Angel Falls -- the world's highest -- and its entire watershed. The falls was among the major features which first attracted attention to the area and developed interest in its protection. The park also maintains the scenic integrity of the majestic flat-topped tepuis of the Guiana Shield formation, which extends from western Guyana across southern Venezuela into south central Colombia and north central Brazil. (See Figure IT-27.)
The Vicente Perez Rosales National Park of Chile includes examples of the spectacular scenery of the Lake District. Snow-covered volcanoes, deep blue lakes and forested mountains are found in the 135,175 ha park. One of the major routes for tourism crossing the Andes between Chile and Argentina passes through the park via ferry boat and roadway. The park provides the scenic backdrop for this world famous tour. (See Figure II-28.)
The already noted expansion of the original archeological monuments at Machu Picchu, Portobelo, and Tikal are examples of the growing awareness of the need to ensure the scenic shed for cultural resources. In these and other cases, there was a growing fear of losing the natural scenery surrounding the sites due to encroaching agriculture, fire, logging, and other conflicting uses. In effect, while the stage of the theater and the show itself were being presented and maintained, the scenery and curtains were decaying, falling apart and being carted off. More specifically, the profound impression to be grasped by the visitor standing atop Pyramid One in Tikal, on the ramparts near an old cannon in Portobelo, or sitting high above the reconstructed walls, terraces and buildings of the Incan citadel, come in great part from the integrity of the entire scene. Those mountains, the swirling clouds, sudden cool breezes and rainfall, the sea and the rainbow, all envelope the visitor into the fantasy of life some hundred years ago. The role of a park is greater than the creation and preservation of a museum collection of objects and pieces; it is to create and preserve the opportunity for people of this and future generations to perceive the human experience of past generations -to provide a link from the past into the future, and provide a point of anchor for the present in which humans live. Scenery is the resource in which that experience takes place, it is a curtain to cover distractions and show vividly the whole setting to be experienced. (See Figure II-29.)
Elsewhere, there are serious problems and deficiencies in the capability of national parks to protect scenic beauty. In many parks there are vistas which contain great natural beauty together with mineral extraction facilities (Purace National Park, Colombia), logging and sawmilling (Puyehue National Park, Chile) and the cut-and-fill debris and scars of highway construction (Tayrona National Park, Colombia). (See Figure II-30.)
Other forms of scenic inconsistency can be criticized but to little avail. Frequent vistas of slash-and-burn agriculture, itinerant domestic livestock, the removal of sand from beaches and the sites where vegetation has been removed for the manufacture of charcoal all point to the conflicts to be found in development and the human habitat. These conflicts will be resolved to the extent that social, economic, and political problems are solved. While the efforts required to solve these problems extend far beyond the scope of park management, parks can contribute to their solutions as will be considered more fully in subsequent sections below.
In conclusion, on the role of national parks in the protection of scenic beauty in Latin America, it can be demonstrated that parks have proven useful in several cases involving the maintenance of backdrops for urban centers, archeological sites and tourism routes. In other cases, non-conforming land uses are found along the park boundaries which distract from the scenery of the area. Finally, many parks contain or are surrounded by scenic disturbances which are in themselves symptoms of under-development and cannot necessarily be considered as signs of inefficient park management.
Facilitate Education, Research and Environmental Monitoring in Natural Areas
Education, research and environmental monitoring can be considered as three distinct objectives, however, they share in common the concept of LEARNING. Each is intended to support a growing capacity to understand wildland (natural and cultural) resources, to appreciate their significance more clearly, and to be able to make wiser decisions about their management and use in the future.
Education is considered here in a broad context to include formal and informal learning experiences in the outdoor natural environment. School and university students, civic and youth clubs or labor union groups come to national parks to study or simply encounter nature or culture. In general, specialized personnel of the park are assigned to guide or conduct these groups, to give information, and to interpret the resources and their significance to the visitors.
Education also includes the concept of preparing young scientists with experience in working in the outdoor natural laboratory. The park is an extension of the school and university classroom and laboratory in biology, ecology and other natural, earth, atmospheric and social sciences. Just as the industrial engineering student visits a factory to observe the "real world", the student of natural sciences can use a national park.
The educational experience need not only be in groups and conducted in a formal manner, but may involve an individual working on a specific activity. He may collaborate with a park officer in the design and operation of this study, then spend most of his time on his own with minimal control and supervision from park staff. Such activities may correspond to class projects, term papers, and theses for advanced degrees.
A second aspect of the objectives is research. Park management may require answers to certain questions concerning the availability of current or prospective management practices.
Will the new road disrupt the movements of fauna or plant succession? The park may also serve as a laboratory for conducting investigation on topics or by methods which require a natural environment. What is the productivity of the natural forest? Either way, the research function of the park is to provide facilities and services for scientists. Generally this requires that dormitory space, field camps and some laboratory space and equipment be provided. Often, the park must also provides guides, transportation within the park, and some contribution to the costs of room and food. While a passive role may be played by simply providing access and support to non-park individuals and groups wishing to carry out investigation activities in the park, it is in the best interest of park management that research be designed, supported and stimulated by management in order to learn about the park's resources and the role of the park in ecodevelopment. Viewed in this way, research is not an optional activity, but a vital and necessary element of management to guide and substantiate park management, interpretation to visitors, education, and the national conservation and development process.
The third aspect of the objective is environmental monitoring. The park can be studied on a relatively long-term and continuous basis to learn about fundamental relationships and trends between plants and animals and their environment. Monitoring of the spread of introduced animal species and the effects upon vegetation would be a relevant activity in the parks of Andean Chile and Argentina. Monitoring may also relate visitor impact to natural or cultural resources. On the simple end of the spectrum, monitoring consists of the systematic collection of observational data, for example, where park rangers report on the flow and activities of visitors, on a daily basis over several years. On the complex end, monitoring involves the systematic collection and processing of data, for example, where computers are utilized to measure the physiological response of natural forest in the park to various agricultural practices on adjacent lands. The computers may transmit the data via satellite, store the material, compare sites on several continents and supply scientists around the world with the materials with which they may evaluate the impact of those same agricultural practices upon the whole biosphere! Be the monitoring program simple or complex, there can be a prepared program of work which has formalized goals, procedures, data handling methods, standards for performance and final reports.
All three aspects - education, research and environmental monitoring - are of particular relevance to the role of national parks in ecodevelopment. Where parks are designed, developed and operated to provide services and facilities for these aspects, the social wildland capital can be utilized to support the educational system, the rational use of natural resources, and the overall management and development of rural lands. Similar to the control plot in the experimental forest, the park becomes the control plot (or bench mark) for the biotic unit -it demonstrates the natural state of wild capital prior to the introduction of modern technological alterations. The cultural areas may also support this end by providing bench marks along the path of man's development under different levels of technology.
Thus, the education, research and environmental monitoring activities are capable of tying national parks to national conservation and development. They are necessary to support the preparation of citizens and scientists for understanding and appreciating natural and cultural resources, the management of the park resources themselves, and finally the overall management and development of the nation.
Until recently, these aspects have been considered as options, and at times, as luxuries of park management. Since nature was considered to "take care of itself," there was little need to do research beyond normal taxonomic and descriptive activities. Monitoring was viewed as over-sophisticated and unrelated to the park unit, and the park was generally taken to be unrelated to the health and welfare of the nation.
It can be demonstrated that scientists have been working in national parks for over a half century; students have always come to parks; and park employees have always been "monitoring" the activities of visitors, poachers and squatters. The question here, however, lies in whether these activities are carried out in response to management objectives, or whether they are merely elements of the general range of activities and services provided by parks. If these activities were treated as integral elements of the design, development and operation of parks, then surely the parks would be considered as elements of the nation's research and educational facilities. Are parks considered on par in importance with forest, agricultural and livestock experiment stations? Are the parks viewed to be at least as important as the classroom? Where the previously considered objectives or park management are perhaps abstract and "scientific," this education/research/environmental monitoring objective relates to all citizens and to all bureaus of government.
During the period 1972-1974, the Costa Rican Park Service initiated a program to receive organized groups of school children from primary and secondary grades.57 The classes were given guided walks through the different forest formations leading up to the spectacular rim-side view of the active Poas volcano. A small visitor center provided additional interpretation of the volcano and its relationship to man. The groups then ate a picnic lunch in an attractive outdoor setting. Following each visit, the teachers of each class were given an opportunity to discuss the day's activities with the park staff. (See Figure II-31.)
Following the reception of several hundred students, it became apparent that the park staff could not provide personal interpretation services to each class. While some form of intensive educational experience in the park was considered to be the ideal, a large volume of park visitors would require a greatly expanded park staff. The multiplier was found in working with the Department of Education of the University of Costa Rica. Classes of future school teachers and their professors came to the park and worked with the park staff. To the extent that university professors could prepare future teachers on the use of parks for biology, geology, conservation and related field trips, future groups of primary and secondary students would be guided by their own teachers. The park staff would then be free to supervise as necessary and still continue with other management duties.
Puyehue National Park in Chile's southern temperate rainforest has been developed to provide visitors with an educational experience. A visitor center and self-guiding nature trail were completed in 1973. During the first season of operation it was estimated that approximately 2,300 individuals per week visited the "Agues Calientes Recreation Area" with its interpretative facilities.58 (See Figure II-32.)
Interpretation in historical areas has been under development for a longer period of time than that in natural areas. Visitors to the ancient Toltec, and later Aztec city of Teotihuacan near Mexico City, as well as to the Mayan cities of Yucatan, the Incan centers of the Sacred Valley in Peru, and to various historical buildings such as the death place of Simon Bolivar in Santa Marta, Colombia, have had access to guides and literature for more than a decade. Within the context of a natural area where cultural values are to be found, Santa Rosa National Park demonstrates a process of research, reconstruction and interpretation. The historic site with its hacienda, corrals, and battlefield was studied by historians and historical architects.59 Park management reconstructed and developed the area as a rational shrine and visitor area. School children now come to learn about the battle with the "Filibusteros", as well as the life-style of the hacienda in the mid-1980's.
The parks in Argentina have been utilized for research since the early 1940's. The Argentine Park Service has published technical and scientific articles in various forms to support the development of fundamental knowledge about each park.60 Research activities are carried out by personnel of the Service as well as through contracts with national universities. In other cases, such as that exemplified by the glaciological research being carried out in Glaciares National Park, research and monitoring have been realized through cooperative efforts with other national institutions.61
The Peruvian Forest and Wildlife Directorate has pioneered the linkages between research and management. New conservation units are studied for species content, diversity, habitats, the relative uniqueness of the resources and their significance in terms of national and international value. Most significant, interdisciplinary and interdepartmental field studies are carried out prior to the allocation of wildland areas by the government, to determine what, if any, portions of the area warrant special status as conservation units.62
In Peru's Pampa Galeras National Vicuña Reserve research has been a basic element of the management program since 1965 when the area was first provided protection. Researchers studied the vicuña (Vicugna vicugna), its habitat, behavior, and the overall institutional and landuse context.63 Along with this, a monitoring of the vicuña population has been in effect to demonstrate the response of the species to protection and other management activities. As noted in Table II-3, the response has been positive and dramatic. Such information has provided the basis upon which past management has been evaluated and the new "Vicuna Rational Utilization Project" has been prepared and financed.64
POPULATION OF VICUNAS IN THE NATIONAL VICUNA RESERVE, PERU, AND ITS AREA OF INFLUENCE FROM 1965 TO 1976
Source: Personal communication with personnel of the National Forestry and Wildlife Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture, Lima, Peru, January 21, 1977.
Education, research and environmental monitoring have been developed as an integrated program in the Galapagos Islands National Park of Ecuador. Personnel of the park and the Charles Darwin Research Station, have studied habitat requirements and investigated factors which place such animals as the Galapagos tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus) in danger of extinction. Measures for the necessary corrective action have been designed and implemented. Goats and other feral animals are being systematically eliminated on specific islands by park personnel. Subsequent observations are gathered to inform management of the response of the area to measures which have been applied. In this integrated work, the park personnel, scientists, university students and local citizens are involved. New knowledge is gained and shared through a broad range of publications in the Spanish and English languages. (See Figure II-33.)
While Pampa Galeras National Vicuña Reserve and Galapagos National Park contain permanent research and monitoring personnel, facilities, and activities as normal elements of their management programs, research and monitoring are also carried out on a periodic basis in many other parks. For example, the Manu, Santa Rosa, Tayrona, Tortuguero and Volcan Poas parks contain permanent dormitory and laboratory facilities which are available for use by scientists and advanced students, and there has been such demand in Corcovado that a biological station is being planned to accommodate visiting scientists and students. (See Figure II-34.) In these parks, research has been carried out to inventory species, coral reefs and marine turtles, to examine the habitat and behavior of primates and crocodilians, and to study other aspects of immediate interest to management. In Santa Rosa, the savannah lands were studied to provide management with a plan for the maintenance and control of plant succession in the historic sector of the park. (See Figure II-35.)
In southernmost Chile where the great glaciers of the Andes plunge down to meet fresh and saltwater in Torres del Paine National Park, research on the guanaco (Lame guaniacoe) and other local species supported management and development planning. The published plan provides for the construction of a permanent research station to serve research workers, scientists from other national and international institutions, and students.65 (See Figure II-36.)
In addition to the aforementioned education, research and monitoring activities supported by national parks, a large amount of support goes unnoticed. For example, parks in most countries host systems of hydrographic measurement and analysis. The streams in the parks and elsewhere are calibrated through the use of permanently installed equipment. Parks also serve as control areas to study vegetative cover and soils from undisturbed ecosystems. The results of many such studies are to be found in the files of local and foreign universities and in other institutions. Parks have provided services and indirect or even direct costs to support this work, yet the credit generally has been awarded to other individuals and organizations.
In conclusion on the role of national parks in facilitating education, research and environmental monitoring in natural areas, it can be purported that all three activities are contributing to the management of individual national parks and ecodevelopment for the respective nation. It is significant that research programs were among the first to be implemented in the development of several national parks. In some cases, the information gathered from early research and monitoring activities has already guided managers to correct and improve their efforts. In several parks, visitors can benefit from interpretation programs.
The cases which have been mentioned serve to demonstrate the potential which lies ahead. The fact remains, however, that only a few cases can be found where education, research and monitoring are active and normal elements of park management. Most national parks are not visited by school children. Few parks have been utilized by scientists and researchers for their work. And, few parks serve as control plots for the permanent gathering of environmental data.
Facilitate Public Recreation and Tourism
As in other regions of the world, the national parks of Latin America were established in great part to provide opportunities for recreation and tourism in natural and cultural environments. Governments stimulated the use of many of the early parks by providing access and constructing hotels and other facilities. Examples of these parks include Avila, Henri Pitier, Iguacu, Iguazu, Itatiaia, Nahuel Huapi, Puyehue and Vicente Perez Rosales. Other parks were located in remote areas and were visited only by a few dedicated scientists, mountaineers and hikers.
Little noticed has been the recreational use of wildlands by local rural residents. For decades prior to the establishment of many parks, the areas were already in use for fishing, picnicking, and camping. (See Figure II-37.)
Few long-term data exist on the recreational use of wildlands, including national parks and other categories. In Puerto Rico, outdoor recreation was first noted in the 1940's as residents began to bathe along ocean beaches and walk in the forests. Table II-4 illustrates the growth of recreational visitation to national and commonwealth forests, public beach developments, historical monuments and the developed urban outdoor recreation plazas. Previously, recreation in the outdoors was realized predominantly by traditional activities in the town plazas. By 1961 the Commonwealth Recreation Development Administration and Forest Service had begun to develop beach and forest recreation areas. By 1963, visitors to these sites were predominantly island residents.66
The numbers of visitors to 18 of Latin America's national parks during 1973 are shown in Table II-5. Of these, data for 11 parks were obtained in comparable form to demonstrate the increase in visitation to the parks over a three-year period from 1971 to 1973. This is shown in Table II-6. In general, the growth of visitation to national parks can be expected to increase with the development of urbanization, industry, agrarian reform, highways or other access and public transportation. Full-time and year-round salaries or wages, access to automobile or bus, and the advent of the "weekend" are among the key factors which have generally made park recreation possible.
OUTDOOR RECREATION SERVICES AS RECORDED IN PUERTO RICO AND THE U.S. VIRGIN DURING THE PERIOD 1940 to 1963
a Estimated from U.S. Forest Service files, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.
Source: Miller, K. R. Some Economic Problems of Outdoor Recreation Planning in Puerto Rico. PhD Dissertation, SUNY College of Forestry at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, 1968. p. 8.
PUBLIC VISITATION TO EIGHTEEN SELECTED NATIONAL PARKS IN LATIN AMERICA FOR THE YEAR 1973
Source: Dalfelt, A. Some Data Related to Costs and Benefits of National Parks in Latin America. Draft. CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica. 1976. p. 35.
PUBLIC VISITATION TO ELEVEN SELECTED NATIONAL PARKS IN LATIN AMERICA FOR THE YEARS 1971, 1972 AND 1973
Source: Dalfelt, A. Some Data Related to Costs and Benefits of National Parks in Latin America. Draft. CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica. 1976. p. 37.
One of the most spectacular cases in the development of parks and recreation/tourism is that of the Chubut Provincial Department of Tourism. Beginning in 1965, eight relatively small reserves were established around the Valdez Peninsula and along the nearby coastal lands. (See Figure II-38.) The objective was to provide protection for the sea lion, fur seal, elephant seal, penguin, southern white whale and other related wildlife. Highways, motels, campgrounds and service centers for automobiles were developed on a planned basis. Approximately $50,000 were invested in each reserve for guard houses, office buildings, fencing and tourist facilities. By the 1972-1973 season, some 118,000 visitors came to the Province of Chubut. Studies by the Provincial Tourism Department show that 95 percent of these visitors came to Chubut to see the wildlife reserves. On the average, each tourist spent $10 per day while in Chubut and remained 6 days in the province. Thus by simple calculation, tourism to view wildlife brought to Chubut Province some $6.73 million (US).67 (See Figure Il-39.)
The case of Puyehue National Park in Chile demonstrates the potential impact of planned park management and development. The Park and Forest Administration (APARFO), later reorganized as the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF), identified the park for priority recreation development. Plans were prepared during a two year period.68 Construction on the "Agues Calientes Development Area" was initiated during 1971. The area was inaugurated for use in January 1972, providing facilities and services for camping, bathing in natural hot springs, picnicking, hiking, fishing, rental cabins and a nature interpretation center with auditorium and an adjacent self-guiding nature trail. Throughout the two-month summer season, some 1,000 visitors came to the park on Saturdays and Sundays. The capacity of the area was filled the first day it became available to the public. Some ninety-five percent of the visitors were Chilean nationals, predominantly from that province. They came in buses, farm vehicles, commercial truck and automobiles.69 (See Figure II-40.)
Statistics on international tourism to national parks in Latin America are difficult to find. The tendency is to mix the data on national visitors together with international travelers. This can lead to gross misrepresentation of the economic impact of national parks. Normally, the local visitor who utilizes the park for a day will spend little or nothing enroute to the park.
What appears to be the case until recently, however, is that most international tourism to Latin America has concentrated on the famous resort beaches of Acapulco, Mar de Plata, Punta del Este, Rio de Janeiro, San Juan, Varadero, and Vina del Mar. Another major area of concentration has been the cultural monuments in Central America, Mexico and Peru.
Visitation by international tourism to natural areas has increased where governments (and in some cases, private enterprises) have provided services and facilities for visitors in or around parks. The Ecuadorian government established the Galapagos Islands National Park in 1934, but the development of tourism began in the 1960's. Public and private funds have developed a ship-touring system to carry tourists from site to site among the islands. The sites which can be visited are specified in the Master Plan for the park. The travelers sleep and have all meals on board ship. Short guided walks along marked trails provide the opportunity for visitor contact with the exceptional wildlife and scenery. In addition to the expenditures for the ship cruise, the 9,000 visitors per year purchase a special tourist card for entry to the national park from which 70 percent of the income accrues to the national park program.
The Iguazu Falls lie on the border which separates Argentina and Brazil. Both nations have established national parks around the Falls including a total of over 200,000 ha of the surrounding subtropical forests. Walkways along the shorelines and out to prominent viewpoints provide visitors with spectacular encounters with nature and impressively close contacts with the various falls. (See Figure II-41.) Hotels and other facilities are provided within both parks as well as in the towns nearest to the parks. Tourism totaling some 550,000 visitors per year for both parks, reaches up to 8,000 visitors per day to the immediate area of the Falls.71
While data are scarce it is possible to draw several conclusions about the role of parks in providing for recreation and tourism. First, as might be expected, visitation to parks increases as infrastructure and facilities are provided. Second, rural and urban peoples of all socio-economic groups already visit those parks which are accessible and provide facilities within economic reach. Third, parks are capable of attracting international tourism where they feature outstanding natural and cultural resources. Finally, the absolute numbers of visitors to parks in Latin America are low when compared to parks in Africa and North America. This is due, in part, to the policies of most park departments to limit access and use of parks according to the level of protection and development which can be provided. There appears to be reticence to promote recreation and tourism to parks because of a lack of capacity to control visitors and protect both the visitors and the resource. This is in no small part due to the observable problems of "over-use" in some local parks as well as others in Africa and North America. On the other side of the same coin, the governments have provided only limited amounts of capital for developments in national parks, perhaps because the rentability of such investments has not been demonstrated.
Support Rural Development and The Rational Use of Marginal Lands
National parks have been utilized as mechanisms to attract and organize the colonization and development of rural lands. Argentina was a pioneer in the employment of national parks as development poles for the orderly and systematic colonization of its frontier lands with Brazil and Chile. (See Figure II-42.) Parks such as Nuhuel Huapi and Iguazu were established along the international borders. The towns of Bariloche and Puerto Iguazu (respectively) were developed to centralize park operations and offices, as well as tourism services, housing, communications and civil functions. In the region surrounding the parks, ranching, farming, timber production and water works were developed.
The parks provided the "attractant" for tourism, the protection of water resources, sites for recreation, opportunities for stable employment, and protection of the scenic resources. In concept, the parks formed the nucleus of the development poles. In the decades following the initial development of these parks many conflicts arose concerning the validity of excluding the timber and pasture lands from commercial and industrial exploitation. Compromises were made in some sectors, but in others the parks were amplified to afford greater protection to vital ecosystems. Some of the towns have now grown into cities, roads have been paved, jet ports have been installed and modern buses connect the parks with population centers around the country And significantly, as the prices for agricultural crops and animal products have changed from year to year, often resulting in the unemployment of rural labor, the national parks continue to attract ever-greater numbers of visitors. The expenditures of these visitors in the development poles act to transfer income from the generally wealthier urban areas to the generally poorer rural areas.
Other cases where national parks or equivalent reserves have served to support rural development and the rational use of marginal lands include Canaima in Venezuela, the Chubut Provincial Reserves of Argentina, and the Machu Picchu of Peru. These areas have already been mentioned previously for their significance to other ecodevelopment objectives.
The poor, sandy soils of the Upper Caroni river basin and the Gran Sabana region of southeastern Venezuela were studied for their potential productivity in agriculture and animal husbandry. Experiments were run by the Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG) to search for alternative uses of the land. The network of Capuchin missions had considerable experience in the cultivation of fruit trees, bran, vegetables, and livestock. In general, the results showed little promise unless elaborate amounts of fertilizers could be applied.
As already mentioned, the Caroni River supplies the water for the Guri Dam hydroelectric complex at Cuidad Guayana at the confluence of the Caroni and the Orinoco. (See Figure II-10.) Timber resources, gold and diamond attracted development and colonization into the upper Caroni and neighboring rivers. The clearing of land, involving the use of fire, stimulated concern for the future capacity of the river basin to conserve and produce water. The threat of erosion and sediment became quite real.
Apart from the value of the Caroni for hydroelectric energy, the area is considered to be among the world's most interesting biological and scenic regions. Concern for the protection of the area has been developing since the early expeditions of the Schomburgk brothers in 1838 and 1842, through the subsequent work of the American Natural History Museum, Felix Cardona, William Phelps, Jr., and many national institutions. The government decreed the Canaima National Park in 1962 with 1,000,000 ha centered around the Angel Falls and nearby tepuis.72
Further evaluation of the water resource led the government to expand the park to 3,000,000 ha in 1975. This amplification was based in great part upon the recommendations presented in the management plan for the park.73 Other efforts to evaluate the implications of various land-use alternatives in the Caroni River basin were carried out by the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Investigations. Modern methods were utilized to analyze the interrelated systems of natural resources to relate different land management options to erosion and water runoff potential as well as to monetary values.74
The case of the wildlife reserve of Chubut Province demonstrates that unique and particularly attractive wildlife can form the nucleus for development in areas where very few other alternatives exist. In the past, cattle, sheep and agricultural development have passed through eastern Patagonia with only shortlived success. The natural resources can be considered marginal to such land uses. The wildlife reserves, however, offer an alternative which requires small amounts of development capital and leaves the resources available for future options.
In Machu Picchu, the cultural monument has been open to tourism for years. A steady stream of visitors has been crossing Peru and penetrating the Sacred Valley of the Inca with little impact upon the surrounding region, save for the tourism services in Cuzco. Currently, the government and Unesco are implementing a regional development plan within which tourism is generating income to be re-invested in rural development.75 The ruins of Machu Picchu have been further restored and facilities for attending to visitors are being improved. In addition, electric power is being extended throughout the region, highways are being paved, sanitation and education services are being made available, and a school is being developed to train tourism guides. Thus, the ruins left behind by a past generation are serving to inspire and develop the present and future peoples of the region and the world.
Other examples of national parks which function as elements of development poles can be mentioned: Portobelo's historic Spanish fortresses on Panama's Atlantic coast; Tayrona in northern Colombia; Galapagos as a predominant feature in the Provincial Development Plan in Ecuador; Rapa Nui for Easter Island; Torres del Paine and Glaciares for the southern Patagonia region of Argentina and Chile; and the Manu of Amazonian Peru. In all these cases, the objectives are directly related to ecodevelopment. Conservation is not subordinate to development but is a vital part of it. These areas serve development because they conserve resources.
National parks also serve ecodevelopment by converting what are traditionally considered to be "worthless" areas and objects into resources. By the action taken by the Venezuelan government, the sandstone and walled mesas of the Gran Sabana and Caroni basin are apparently of such great value to the nation for the stable production of water and as a natural area, that alternative forms of development have been excluded. The rock bluffs along the ocean shore of Chubut were never considered to be resources until a value was placed on elephant seals. The jagged, forest-covered mountains surrounding the Inca citadel were not valued until the government considered Machu Picchu as a potential major force for the development of the region. Then, suddenly, the maintenance of the scenery surrounding the ruins became necessary and justifiable.
Following 20 years of study and experience in Africa, the Pacific and elsewhere around the world, Thane and Ann Riney urged developing countries to use parks and wildlife reserves as mechanisms to provide stable, ecologically consistent and economically significant uses to lands which are marginal to conventional agriculture and animal husbandry.76 Their careers have been heavily dedicated to furthering this principle.
From these examples it can be seen that national parks can provide the ecological, economic and institutional framework by which marginal lands can contribute to rural development. From this point of view, "new resources" are added to the national wealth. There is another point of view to be considered in these examples. It is one thing to earn money; it is another to refrain from losing money! By managing the Caroni River basin as a national park, the government of Venezuela is reducing the likelihood of erosion, sediment and siltation in the Guri reservoir as well as the destruction of the turbines and future loss of electric power. A shut-down in the dam would result in inconceivable losses to industry, employment, foreign exchange earnings, and general national welfare.
The cases which have been presented demonstrate the potential which national park management holds for converting marginal lands into positive assets for ecodevelopment. These areas both contribute to development directly, and they also help to avoid losses to the development effort. While these examples are perhaps striking, they are few. The concepts of parks as ingredients in development poles, as mechanisms to rationalize marginal lands and to sustain rural employment are not commonly utilized to justify, design, and implement national parks.
Maintain Watershed Production
The last two objectives to present appear at first glance to overlap one another and to be inseparable from several of the previously discussed objectives. However, both of the two remaining objectives have their particular roles and orientation which warrant consideration.
The national parks of Latin America benefit from the fact that in the majority of cases they have been created by technically trained agronomists, foresters or biologists. Inherent in their design is the inclusion of streams and watersheds wherever possible. Of the 120 national parks accepted by IUCN in 1974, over 50 contained upper watersheds, the majority of which contributed to downstream development and were vital to the maintenance of the natural ecosystem.
Several of these latter parks provide potable water for urban centers. An outstanding example is found in the Guatopo National Park in Venezuela. The 92,640 ha park was initiated in 1958. At that time some 5,000 families inhabited the valley and parts of the upstream catchment. The water supply for the city of Caracas was becoming unstable due to increasing erosion and the gradually decreasing water-retaining capacity of the watershed. Since 1958, the 5,000 families have been relocated as part of the national agrarian reform effort. The forest is regenerating by natural processes. Investments have been made in works for the collection of water from five streams, recreation and educational facilities, and instrumentation for hydrological monitoring. Several historical sites were restored.
Among the benefits of Guatopo National Park, which relate to all of the previously discussed objectives, 21 cubic meters per second of clean drinking water is produced for the city of Caracas. During the period 1958-1973, the government invested $222 million in the park and water works. The water produced by the park, at the 1973 sale price for water in Caracas, has a gross annual value of approximately $40 million. After deducting the estimated maintenance costs, some $30 million remain to cover the cost of amortizing the capital and to cover interest payments.
The case of Guatopo illustrates well the role of national parks in maintaining watershed production. The area legitimately qualifies as a national park because of its relation to the other objectives. However, because of its location, it also maintains a watershed in a form which is highly productive for ecodevelopment. The water works are minimal within the park and do not appear to conflict with the realization of the other objectives of park management.
This example could serve for many other areas around the region where, inspired by the need for maintaining stable watershed production, natural areas can be managed for this and other objectives at the same time.
Control Erosion and Sediment and Protect Downstream Investments
In the previous objective, parks are located and managed to ensure the flow of water as provided by the natural big-hydrological system. This is accomplished by maintaining upstream areas in natural cover. Natural regulation is the key concept and management is geared to ensure that natural regulation continues to work.
In this final objective, management may be quite different. Erosion is to be avoided. This requires that highly erosive lands be kept under some stable form of land use which minimizes the possibility of soil movement. For vast areas, the national park can meet the requirement inexpensively since lands kept in a wild state generally provide adequate erosion control. Upstream protection can ensure that downstream areas receive a minimum of sediment. Similarly, mid-stream protection is often vital to the protection of estuarine and inshore fisheries, port facilities, bridges and other capital investments.
The first formal proposal for the Cahuita National Park of Costa Rica recommended the inclusion of en upstream watershed in the park to minimize the potential dangers of sedimentation upon the coral reefs along the Caribbean shoreline.78 (See Figures II-44 and 45.) As the central feature of the park, the reefs would remain viable only so long as they could retain their delicate balance with the marine environment. The nearby stream carried nutrients and fresh water out over the reefs. Any activities which would provoke above-normal levels of erosion would eventually lead to a decrease in the clarity of the waters and a reduction in sunlight received by the corals. These considerations were important not only from the touristic point of view, but also because of the biological significance of coral reefs in fishery production and in the diets of coastal human settlements.
Upstream-downstream problems also can affect major urban centers. The Avila National Park in Venezuela borders on the city of Caracas. (See Figure II-46.) In the 1940's and 1950's, the slopes of the mountain range facing the city were utilized for goat-grazing and shifting agriculture. With each rainstorm, sediment flowed into the city streets clogging the drainage and sewage systems. Fire ravaged the mountain sides and often passed down into the edges of the city. And, the scenic backdrop for the city became more and more unaesthetic. As part of a concerted effort to correct the social and economic ills of which this situation was witness, the national park department was empowered to reclaim the mountain slopes from the peaks down to the municipal limits. A decade of work on soil and vegetative management and the careful control of fire improved the condition of the slope to such an extent that erosion and sediment are under control and the scenic curtain for Caracas is greatly improved. In the longer-run, this slope will play a more active role in relation to the other objectives for park management, but at present its main contribution is to reclaim and protect a major portion of the Caracas basin.
The objective to control erosion and sediment and to protect downstream investments can be observed in other areas besides Cahuita and Avila. Where national parks are involved, this objective is generally accomplished by management activities oriented to maintain ecosystems, ecological diversity and genetic resources. But the objective is not to be taken passively. Its consideration was critical in the analysis of Cahuita. It served to provide a highly valued service for the city of Caracas. Viewed in these terms, there are opportunities remaining where parks could serve to protect downstream investments which are critical to national development. Parks can serve not only to keep water flowing, which was the concern of the previous objective, but also to keep it free of physical materials which eat away at the hard-won capital expended by the nation in irrigation, power, sanitation, navigation, and water purification works. And, the upstreamdownstream effect reaches directly into the problem of human food supplies. The maintenance of valley agriculture and estuarine and inshore fisheries can often be ensured to some considerable degree by the management of the upstream areas of influence in national parks. The analysis and implementation of these considerations have only been scratched on the surface in Latin America and elsewhere.
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