Socio-economic and biological aspects of land use adjacent to Braulio Carrillo National Park, Costa Rica.
AuthorSchelhas, John William, Jr.
KeywordsLand use -- Social aspects -- Costa Rica
Land use -- Economic aspects -- Costa Rica
Land use -- Environmental aspects -- Costa Rica.
AdvisorShaw, William W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMany national parks in lesser developed countries are threatened by adjacent human land uses. To meet both social and environmental needs, effective programs must be implemented to manage lands adjacent to national parks for conservation and development. This requires careful analysis of the socio-economic aspects of existing land use patterns and their implications for biological conservation. Research was undertaken adjacent to Braulio Carrillo National Park, Costa Rica. The biological integrity of the park depends on maintenance of natural habitats on lands adjacent to the lowland sector of the park. Existing lowland forest habitat adjacent to the park is rapidly being converted to pasture. Protecting the park's lowland biological resources depends on both stopping the influx of colonists into the area and encouraging land uses with biological conservation value outside the park. Both these issues are explored in detail. The rationale behind existing land uses in the region is discussed in relation to socio-economic variables identified from the literature on land use choice in Latin America. Large landholders generally engage in beef cattle ranching, frequently in association which land speculation. Small landholders prefer dairy cattle for cheese production is due to its low risk, stable markets, and the possibility of gradual and reversible entry. Smaller cattle operations use land more intensively, but by investing more labor appear to achieve sustainability. More intensive cash cropping is often combined with cattle to increase overall income. Timber production shows potential to partially replace cattle as an extensive, low risk land use. The impact of different adjacent land uses on park biological resources was assessed through a survey of biologists familiar with the region. The two land uses of greatest benefit to park resources were completely protected forest and natural forest management for timber production. The two land uses causing greatest harm to park resources were annual crops and pasture. Two management options for conservation and development adjacent to the park are proposed: (1) a forest buffer, and (2) a mosaic of different land uses, including pasture, perennial crops, and forest.
Degree ProgramRenewable Natural Resources