A Contribution Study of Geography to Vast Protected Areas: Tumucumaque Mountains National Park, Amapá, Brazilian Amazon
Angelica ARAUJO, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Luis Antonio Bittar VENTURI, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Vast protected areas located in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest are becoming a bigger target scenario of conflict interests nowadays. The duel between natural resources exploitation intensity and efficient strategies for protection and conservation is on the agenda in a very serious way.
The Tumucumaque Mountains National Park has the world largest area of a tropical rainforest of its category. Located in the eastern Amazon, Amapá State, Brazil; its size – 38.874 km2 - is about 1/16 times the territory of France. The presence of beautiful landscapes, abundant natural resources and rich biodiversity in this area; requires great efforts for visiting, researching, planning of a sustainable use and protection of its natural resources.
In this sense, the aim of this study is to demonstrate the pros and cons of ecoturism and protection activities on such enormous area and on Amazon national park. On the one hand the distances between protection targets may have a positive effect by making it difficult for infringers to access the sensitive areas. On the other hand, the same distances may turn biodiversity monitoring actions and visiting activities, such as ecoturism and scientific research, hard to accomplish for a full protective coverage of the park.
The methodological procedures consist of a spatial evolutionary analysis of the biodiversity conservation and visit activities such as ecotourism, scientific research and environmental education. These variables constitute the most important functions of a national park. The time scale defined for data collection is from August 2002, when the park was founded, to the present day.
Preliminary results points that the park shows a lower frequency of ecotourism visits and biodiversity monitoring activities than expected for its category. The same preliminar analysis provides to us a better performance of the park on its conservation functions than similar units with smaller areas.
Keywords: Protected Areas|Biodiversity|Ecoturism|National Parks