Edition 37 Ends: The challenge now is how to make this knowledge massive
In the last 7 years, the experiences of the RESERVA Program have been communicated to twice the number of people than the ones trained directly in 24 years By. David Alonso
Although all the implementation process for the protected areas in Latin America and the Caribbean has not been solved yet due to the lack of development, execution and evaluation of the management programs in this areas; in the last decade, the problem of biodiversity preservation has been addressed more and more, with propositions that include human development through the sustainable use of resources, starting from territorial planning models that consider zones that are not part of these protected natural areas.
The aforementioned demands from the organizations linked to preservation, to establish realistic cooperation frameworks with the sectors in charge of the urban, agricultural, livestock production, fishing and industrial planning, in order to take action in a practical way and trying to adjust to the socio-economic and cultural needs that change so much in time and space. These processes also demand rethinking the training models for natural resources administrators, so these may propose and develop new ways to address the environmental problems.
Through the RESERVA Training Program the search has been the development of a teaching and learning model that considers the three pillars in management that the natural resources preservation concept currently implies: Preservation, restoring, and sustainable usage. One of the most used ways to achieve preservation of natural resources is the declaration of protected areas. This preservation instrument has developed and evolved, still being many of the protected areas declared simply due to their beautiful scenery, but there are also protected areas created incorporating technical criteria such as the protection of zones with a high number of endemic species, areas that consider the zones for indicating species distribution, areas with important numbers of threatened species, areas considering the representation of threatened eco-systems, among others. These criteria, are in part, the elements and concepts incorporated in the RESERVA Biology of Preservation Program, being necessary a greater technification in the teaching processes and a greater educational level of the participants.. In this sense, the module currently has four instructors who interact with the participants explaining these topics.
Among the problems presented by the protected areas, there is degrading of parts of the eco-systems inside these areas; as well as, biologic degrading of extensive zones of external areas that do not enable connectivity between the protected areas, reducing the values and functions of these eco-systems. For this reason, a specific module for Ecology Restoring has been included in the academic program of the RESERVA , where the most important technical elements of this discipline have been incorporated. In this module, the participants develop skills in order to implement restoration, rehabilitation or improvement projects, since, like some other authors have mentioned, the preservation initiatives dedicated only to preservation, will not be enough in the future, being more and more necessary to have eco-systemic restoration.
Project implementation focused on sustainable use of natural resources is probably one of practices that has tried to be strengthened in the last decade and which presents probably the greatest difficulties to be successful. In this sense, endless number of publications have been written and there are many cases in a rhetorical speech regarding this topic, but there are few examples totally consolidated which have biological, social and economic favorable indicators in this practice. Probably this management concept of "sustainable use" for natural resources preservation, requires more multi-skilled elements for its implementation and success, something that for the academic education of biologists focused on preservation or for the resources Guards is still difficult to achieve; since in order to achieve a balance between natural resources preservation and obtaining benefits that contribute to social wellness, deep knowledge and technical elements are required; as well as public policies that support in this sense.
The RESERVA academic program, has considered the implementation of a module for the use and management of wild resources based on examples of fauna management and the key theoretical and practical elements for the implementation of agri-forestal systems, emphasized on the design of indicators that enable the natural resources manager, to make a realistic and objective analysis of the projects for sustainable use Likewise, with this same approach, the environmental impact, social research, environmental education, environmental laws, and conflict resolution modules are addressed as well as planning and territory ordering, so the participant may articulate the different experiences and achieves a crosswise approach, with the political actors as well as the territory actors.
Since seven years ago, we are developing greater measures to multiply these training efforts implemented in RESERVA. Currently, there are already results, since the RESERVA program graduates have carried out in these last 7 years, 43 courses/workshops training 935 individuals who work directly in the preservation areas in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua and Peru. In this way, the objective of improving the professional skills of the organizations linked with natural resources preservation, does not fall only on the 37 courses carried out Face-to-face for the RESERVA program, but, they try to potentiate the training with the 437 participants who graduated from 23 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Edition 37 of the RESERVA Training Program was carried out on April 16 through June 17, 2013 having the "John Walker" Research and Training Center from Ducks Unlimited de México A.C. at Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve as main headquarters. The academic program of the course included 14 topics covering a total of 540 hours, led by 24 instructors coming from the academic sector, as well as from institutions in government, non-government, and private sectors. This edition had the participation of 16 professionals from 11 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, who have submitted initiatives to train 246 individuals approximately (Table 1).
Participants in Course 37 of the RESERVA Training Program in the Social Research Module in the community of Isla Arena, Campeche located within the Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve /span>
Table 1. Projects to be carried out by the participants in edition 37 of RESERVA Training Program in their countries.
Name of the Participant
People to be Trained
Ignacio Berro Pérez
Toward incorporation of Biodiversity Monitoring Programs in the National System for Protected Areas in Uruguay
Andrea María Ferreira Ruíz Díaz
Planning of Public Use and services improvement for the Biologic Station The Three Giants, Paraguay Marshes Private Natural Reserve
Gabriela Paz Gómez González
Importance of Bio-diversity in decision making in Environmental Management
Edward José Pérez
Training of military personnel and national service for environmental protection in the border
Terence Jorge Caixeta Nascentes Ramos
Training workshop in Public Use and Assessment of Biodiversity for heads and officers of Protected Natural Areas (Parks), in Espírito Santo, Brazil
Ramel Bernal Valle
Proposition for Public Use for the Wolves, Deer and Birds in the Flora and Fauna Protection Area at the Islands at Gulf of California
Sergio Arturo Roblada Mancilla
Proposition for Community Territory Ordering at Manantlán Hills Biosphere Reserve in the area of Ayotitlán
Leida Anabel Cortés Naranjo
Involvement of the community of the Duraznos school and Colorados in the municipality of Santa Sofía in the processes for Environmental Education of the Natural Area Protected of Iguaque Fauna and Flora Sanctuary
Erika Santacruz López
Environmental Promoters, an alternative future for the community of the Bahía de los Angeles Biosphere Reserve
Ana Maria Monge
Analysis of the tourist value chains and limitation identification for acceptable change at National Refuge of Wildlife, Barra del Colorado, Costa Rica.
José Juan Puc Poot
Training Park Guards in Environmental Education emphasizing in bio-diversity of the Reserve of the Biosphere of Sian Ka'an
Carlos Roberto Melgar Rivera
Training days for the AESMO directive board and resources guard of Güisayote Biologic Reserve.
Adalberto Ernesto Salazar Colocho
Strengthening of the scientific technical abilities for monitoring and follow-up of meat-eating mammals existing in the Western zone in El Salvador
Cindy Nathali Vergel Rodríguez
Biodiversity Assessment Workshop for Planning and Management of Protected Areas in Perú
Adolfo Miguel Quevedo Calatayud
Workshop for Public Use in decision making in Protected Natural Areas in Perú
Jazmín Adriana Argüello Velázquez
Workshop for the implementation of an interpretation sketch in Tecolutla, Veracruz
Based on the assessment of the different experiences that linked biodiversity preservation and the RESERVA academic program, the idea is presenting and developing a new association model between instructors, participants and the Program coordination, where the local or regional training platforms are offered, through institutional agreements in order to achieve concrete goals and the possibility to achieve funds from these benefited institutions. We feel that part of the journey to achieve this initiative has been already carried out and with some countries (Chile and Dominican Republic) there have been important collaboration links achieved. Nevertheless, there are still barriers or blockages such as little support in regards to the training that natural resources administrators have from government organizations, labor instability, low salaries received and poor valuation for the work of the individuals involved with natural resources, task that becomes more and more bureaucratic in Latin America.
In order to meet the different international commitments such as the "Agreement on Biological Diversity", as well as the different legal frameworks for natural resources protection in Latin America and the Caribbean; initially it is required to reduce significantly the blockages aforementioned and revalue the efficient and effective work of the natural resources managers, since these, shall be a bridge between the knowledge generated in the academia and the implementation of this knowledge in regards to natural resources preservation. Since 24 years ago, the training program has been strengthened as one of the key options for training for staff at government and non-government organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, that has been established in an alternate manner to universities and formal education centers that, due to their guidelines, are not a training possibility for most of these administrators and officers.
Participants of Edition 37 of RESERVA Training Program in the Area of flora and fauna protection Area Otoch Ma'ax KooH in the state of Quintana Roo, México.
Nevertheless, despite the achievements and favorable scope that the RESERVA Program has had, we are aware that pressure on bio-diversity in Latin America and the Caribbean continue with less than encouraging trends. This must force us to continue training the officers in government and non-government institutions, away from institutional and bureaucratic inertias, under a flexible and competitive model promoting its management ability.
We thank the participation and collaboration of all the instructors and organizations who, in different ways have contributed with the RESERVA program, particularly the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán for its valuable institutional support.