BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Science/Nature  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Andes conservation goes cross-border
Bird picture
The region is highly biodiverse

Conservationists have agreed to join forces in an effort to protect a 30-million-hectare "tropical corridor" spanning two South American countries.

The rich biodiversity of the region in Peru and Bolivia is threatened by mining, oil and gas exploitation, road and dam construction and logging.

Charity Conservation International (CI) and Peru´s National Institute of Natural Resources (Inrena) have agreed to work together to convince local authorities and people about the importance of the project.

They hope to persuade local and national governments to crack down on damaging industries and development within the region.

The corridor, which includes 15 protected areas, covers the transition zone from the Andes to Amazonia, spanning altitudes from 6000 metres to 300 metres above sea level.

Tropical Andes

It lies within what CI calls the tropical-Andes "hotspot", one of 25 hotspots the Washington DC-based conservation group has designated worldwide due to their high levels of biodiversity and the serious threats posed to them by man.

Map of proposed corridor
The corridor would cover 30m hectares
The tropical Andes hotspot has been called the "world centre of biodiversity" by Dr Norman Myers, who introduced the concept of hotspots in the 1980s.

It covers the Andean zones of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina, but the most important zones are situated in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Diversity

The hotspot is home to over 45,000 plant species - 15% of all world species - nearly half of which are endemic.

The region also contains 677 endemic bird species, the highest concentration in the world.

"We are looking to analyse the activities going on within the corridor so that they can be carried out with the least impact and greatest efficiency possible," said Víctor Hugo Inchausty, CI Bolivia's Technical Director of the Vilcabamba-Amboró corridor.


Little by little, the concept is entering the mindset of decision makers in the country

Víctor Hugo Inchausty, CI Bolivia
However, creating a coordinated approach to conservation within the corridor is going to be a massive task.

On the Bolivian side alone the corridor covers 57 municipalities and four departments, each of which plays a role in designating how land under its jurisdiction is used.

According to Luís Pabón, Director of Bolivia´s National Service for Protected Areas (Sernap), the key to forging a unified approach to conservation among the authorities within the corridor will be the creation of a regional planning policy.


This directive needs to come from the top of government and to have the support of the rest of the power executive

Luís Pabón, Director, Bolivia National Service for Protected Areas
And this will require more active involvement by central government.

"The government will need to propose an eco-regional planning policy to direct all municipal and departmental land planning that falls within this region," he said.

"This directive needs to come from the top of government and to have the support of the rest of the power executive."

Mr Inchausty acknowledged the importance of getting the Bolivian government on board.

"It would be better if there was a tacit demonstration from the government that the issue is of real interest to them," he said.

However, he takes hope from the fact that ecological corridors are already mentioned within Bolivia's national biodiversity strategy and in a letter of understanding signed by the Presidents of Bolivia and Peru.

"Little by little, the concept is entering the mindset of decision makers in the country," he says. "But this is going to be a long process."

See also:

20 Aug 01 | Science/Nature
25 Jun 01 | Science/Nature
24 Aug 01 | Science/Nature
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Science/Nature stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Science/Nature stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes