Implementing the world conservation strategy: success stories from Central America and Colombia
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Severe environmental degradation is occurring in Latin America, including deforestation, soil depletion, mismanagement of watersheds, destruction of coastal environments, and over-harvested/under-utilization of wildlife and fisheries resources. These trends reduce options for sustainable development in the region, are destroying its biological capital, and are major factors promoting civil strife. However, a number of successful pilot conservation for development projects are underway in the region. These include the La Planada Ecodevelopment Project, Colombia, Kuna Indian Wildlands Project, Panama Costa Rican National Park System and the conservation training program of CATIE. Each project deals with priority themes identified in the World Conservation Strategy. La Planada is a combined wildlands conservation/rural development project of the Colombia Foundation for Education (FES). FES has developed La Planada as a model private preserve to protect its extremely diverse ecosysteMON and promote scientific research. To eliminate reserve degradation and improve resource utilization and living standards of colonist and Indian neighbors, FES carries out extension and environmental education prograMON, and contributes to improvement of infrastructure and social services.