Colombia's national parks : an analysis of management problems and perceived values Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/z029p7344

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  • 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.
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