Even where governments have set up reserves, wildlife areas, and parks, few resources are expended on protection and management. Most “protected” areas exist only on paper. Many forestry posts remain unfilled (for lack of funds or lack of trained/interested personnel), and many forestry department civil servants work in offices far from the forest and are not actively engaged in management. In Ghana, at least half of the forestry positions were left vacant and the departments involved with forest management are seriously underfunded (Repetto, 1990). In Peru, the state of Loreto has set aside a large “community reserve,” the Reserva Comunal Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo, but few funds have been allocated for it, and virtually no government personnel are working in or near it (See RCF website.). The same is true for many parks in Africa. Moreover, destructive activities may be encouraged if they are profitable. Logging is carried out in parks in Indonesia with government approval, for instance. In other cases, parks have been established by evicting local people or curtailing their activities within the park without compensation. Thus, although the integrity of tropical parks depends on the goodwill of local people, in their establishment the government disrupts traditional management and forces local people into destitution. Not surprisingly, they will use the forest destructively in an attempt to survive. Thus, the establishment of parks has sometimes led to a worsening of the situation and may increase forest destruction.

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