- This analysis of Colombia's System of National Park Reservations
accomplishes four objectives: 1) The historical development of national
parks in Colombia was described; 2) The status, as of August,
1974, of the areas administered by the Colombian Renewable Natural
Resources Development Institute (INDERENA) was summarized; 3) An
analysis of major management problems facing Colombia's park personnel
was completed; and 4) The values which park division employees place
on Colombia's national parks were described.
Colombia's System of National Park Reservations includes nine
national parks, one fauna territory, and one fauna sanctuary. In
total, nearly 1.3 million hectares have been reserved by law and are
being managed by INDERENA. This system amounts to 1.2 per cent of
the total land surface area and territorial waters of the country.
A Fulbright-Hays scholarship facilitated seven months of field
work to be undertaken in Colombia. Relevant literature on the history
of Colombia's conservation efforts and resource management policies
was reviewed in Colombian archives and resource agency files in the
U. S. The major methodology used in the study was the interview with
open-ended questions and a structured format. The selection of
informants was restricted to employees of INDERENP's Division
of National Parks and Wildlife. In total, 44 interviews were conducted.
Four groups of park employees were identified and their
responses, concerning management problems and park values, analyzed
and compared: Park and wildlife administrators from the national
office in Bogota, regional office managers having park responsibilities,
national park superintendents, and park inspectors or rangers.
The major conclusions of this study were:
1. Twenty-eight distinct management problems were identified
in Colombia's park system. The most important single management
concern was that of the presence of inholdings and
the associated problems. These include: roads, power lines,
poaching, agriculture, burning, grazing, and mining.
2. The next four most important problems were a lack of:
adequately trained park personnel , public interest for the
park program, financial resources, and support from the
national office to the field offices and employees.
3. National and regional administrators, and park directors
generally agreed as to the system's management issues, while
park inspectors tended to identify personal concerns rather
than park management problems.
4. Thirteen values thought to be derived from national parks
were identified. The most frequently mentioned values were:
The preservation of endangered species and their habitat,
providing outdoor education study areas, national pride,
watershed protection, and open space aesthetics.
5. Colombia has the potential, and a sound legislative basis
to develop an outstanding park system. The task remains
one of implementation of existing laws.
Twenty recommendations were forwarded to INDERENA for consideration.
It is believed that with their implementation, Colombia's park
management system will be strengthened, and more data will be available
for resource planners to analyze future problems.
Included in the appendices are a list of South American national
parks recognized by the International Union for the Conservation of
Nature and Natural Resources, and a brief description of the administrative
organization of each South American national park system.