JANZEN, D. H. (1986)

Guanacaste National Park. Tropical ecological and cultural restoration.

Brosch. 104 Seiten.
Universidad Etatal de Distancia, San José, Cost Rica.


Dry forest is the most endangered of the once widespread habitat types in Mesoamericai today only 0,08 percent of the original 550,000 km 2 is in preserves. This document describes and discusses an $ l l .8 million project in northwestern Costa Rica that will allow the dry forest organisms in Santa Rosa National Park and on the evergreen-forested slopes of two nearby volcanos to reoccupy the adjacent low-quality agricultural and pasture land. Simultaneously this project in tropical restoration ecology will have a management focus designed to integrate the park itself, Guanacaste National Parle, into Costa Rican local and national society as a major new cultural resource in an area that is agriculturally rich but culturally deprived. The 700 km2 park will be large enough to maintain healthy populations of all animals, plants and habitats that are known to have originally occupied the site, and to contain enough habitat replication to allow intensive use of some areas by visitors and researchers. The biological technology for restoring a large area of species-rich and habitat-rich tropical dry forest is primarily fire control by managers, grass control by cattle, and tree seed dispersal by wild and domestic animals (and as budgets permit, intensive reforestation programs with native trees); this restoration biology is already relatively well understood or currently being subjected to field experiments. The sociological technology for integration of the park into Costa Rican society is straightforward education of students and teachers at all ages and levels in the society, and research on the biology of the park to obtain more information to feed that education process. In addition to being a major cultural resource, the park will have a variety of economic values such as gene and seed banks for dry forest plants and animals, watershed protection, reforestation examples and technology, ecotourism, and conventional tourism. The land to be incorporated in Guanacaste National Park is almost entirely owned as investment property by people willing to sell it for a fair market price; $8.8 million is needed for this purpose (S200 per ha, $81 per acre). A park that will survive into perpetuity and display its cultural potential must have a substantial endowment for technical and cultural management; a minimum endowment of $3 million is needed for this purpose (an operating budget of $300 000 per year). The entire project must be in place by 1990, and about $1 million is needed immediately to secure the habitats that are in danger of immediate destruction.

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