|CIAT course members tour the native tree nursery managed by GAIA. Hundreds of trees are grown in the nursery and transplanted into reforestation plots to re-created natural forest in the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Patricia Gómez.|
The classification of the lands inside Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve as part of the SINAP protected area system regulated by the Nicaraguan government, however, imposes overriding restrictions and prohibitions on several activities, among them agriculture. The area is dictated by a number of laws, regulations, and policies, which specifically prohibit agriculture, cutting plants, killing or capturing animals, and even building structures. Enforcing the policies has its own set of challenges, particularly because much of the land is in the hands of private landowners who wish to put houses on subdivided plots and sell them for profit. Even subdividing land is forbidden, as part of the Law 559.
The management plan in effect in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, approved by decree in 2010, was produced by a team coordinated by GAIA director Jeffrey McCrary, who provided a brief review of the successes and failures of the plan since its implementation. Different interest groups were considered, such as mostly-foreign tourism business owners and vacation home owners, Nicaraguan renters on public land, the local community, and the community at large which includes all Nicaraguans, who have a voice in the way all natural areas are managed.
|Course members contemplate wild animal rescue and rehabilitation, another activity conducted by GAIA at Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo. Photo Pablo Somarriba.|
|CIAT course participants enjoy views of Laguna de Apoyo and take selfies. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.|
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