Ecosystem Approach

Ecosystem Approach Sourcebook - Case-Study Details

1. Project Details
Author or Responsible Organization R. D. Smith and E. Maltby. (2003). Using the Ecosystem Approach to Implement the Convention on Biological Diversity: Key Issues and Case Studies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. x +118 pp.
Project Title Integral protective programme, Guacharo National Park, Venezuela
Date of Publication
Project Status Completed
Project Start Date
Project End Date
Countries Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Funding Source
2. Background to Project
Project Issue/Problem Statement Several studies in Monagas and Sucre states in the northeastern region of Venezuela showed that the Guacharo National Park area was inadequate to protect the Turimiquire River basin forest that guaranteed the survival of bird colonies of Guacharos (Steatornis caripensis). Conservation concerns have been addressed using a combination of restoration, reserve enlargement and protection and meeting socio-economic needs.
Project Description In response to the growing recognition of the park ’s conservation value, including the discovery of new pristine forests, caves and sink-holes, the government approved the enlargement of the national park area from 15,000 to 62,700 ha. In addition, the overall protection of the GuacharoNational Park was enhanced by the following:· Cerro Negro Project: Reforestation of the 2000-ha area affected by fire in 1987 through the planting of pioneer species and, with support from the national oil company, the spraying of pre-germinated seeds.· Middle Basin Project: Protection of the forest through the employment of park wardens and through research and environmental education. As a result of the research activities carried out by Audubon de Venezuela (an NGO), researchers from the Universidad de Oriente, and with financial support from the national oil company, new bird and endangered vertebrate species were reported. Ten flora species were found to be endemic to the Turimiquire River basin. In addition, local NGOs launched awareness campaigns in local schools. · South-Basin Programme: Agro-socio-economic features of the southeast basin population were studied. The quality of life, production systems and economic activities of the local population were assessed. Based on this assessment, the project sought to involve the local farming community in the cultivation of coffee, a highly profitable crop.
Highlighted Aspects of Ecosystem Approach · The case study highlights the conservation of the area. Sustainable use of resources and equitable benefit-sharing were also addressed through coffee cultivation by local farmers. · Ongoing research programmes in Guacharo National Park include efforts to understand ecosystem processes. · Goods and services were not clearly identified, however, economic benefit sharing and management practices in which local farmers take leadership are being considered. · The case study did not address adaptive management guidelines or strategies. · The appropriate level of management was selected according to the issue. · The value of linkages between sectoral groups was clearly illustrated by the participation of local stakeholders, e.g. the national oil company gave logistical and financial support, while local NGOs (Audubon,Fundación Caripe ) and farmers implemented the project.
Conclusions The success of the project was made possible by the collaboration between the private oil enterprises, local and national NGOs, the scientific sector, governmental support and local communities
3. Sectors and Biomes
Sectors Agriculture
Biomes Agricultural Biodiversity
Forest Biodiversity
Mountain Biodiversity
4. Tools and Approaches
Tools and Approaches   Relevance
Public Participation 3-High
Education and Awareness 3-High
- Education 3-High
Data, Monitoring and Modelling 3-High
- Monitoring methods 3-High
Cross-sectoral Research and Working 3-High
5. Issues
Issues   Relevance
Sustainable Use of Biodiversity 3-High
6. Ecosystem Approach
Principles and Operational Guidance   Relevance
(Only if NOT relevant)
Principle 1: The objectives of management of land, water and living resources are a matter of societal choices 3-High
Principle 2: Management should be decentralized to the lowest appropriate level 3-High
Principle 4: Recognizing potential gains from management, there is usually a need to understand and manage the ecosystem in an economic context 3-High
Principle 5: Conservation of ecosystem structure and functioning, in order to maintain ecosystem services, should be a priority target of the ecosystem approach 3-High
Principle 7: The ecosystem approach should be undertaken at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales 3-High
Principle 10: The ecosystem approach should seek the appropriate balance between, and integration of, conservation and use of biological diversity 3-High
Principle 11: The ecosystem approach should consider all forms of relevant information, including scientific and indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices 3-High
Principle 12: The ecosystem approach should involve all relevant sectors of society and scientific disciplines 3-High
7. Lessons Learned and the Outcomes
Lessons Learned The success of the project was possible through the collaboration between the private oil enterprises, local and national NGOs, scientific sector, governmental support and local communities agreement.
Other Information
8. References
References R. D. Smith and E. Maltby. (2003). Using the Ecosystem Approach to Implement the Convention on Biological Diversity: Key Issues and Case Studies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. x +118 pp.
9. Contact Details
Contact Person Ms Leah Mohammed
Job Title Intern
Organization CBD
Address Montreal World Trade Centre
393 Saint-Jaques, 8th floor
Postal Code H2Y 1N9
City Montreal
ZIP/State/Province Quebec
Country Canada
Telephone 514-288-2220
E-mail Address