Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
DOI-ITAP has provided technical assistance in support of the Environmental Cooperation Agreement under the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement with funding from the U.S. Department of State in the following ares of DOI expertise: glacier monitoring, mining, protected areas management, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), and wildlife enforcement.
Via workshops, study tours, Spanish-language materials developed in-house, and consultations, DOI-ITAP has engaged government officials and non-government organizations from the U.S. and Chile in exchanging information, data, and best practices on a variety of topics, such as the impacts of climate change on glaciers; financial assurances and effective enforcement for environmentally sound mining closures; involving field-level personnel as well as academia in sound protects area management schemes; and CITES implementation and enforcement.
Funding: U.S.Department of State, Bureau of Oceans, and International Environment and Scientific Affairs
DOI-ITAP works with government and non-government partners under the ongoing Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon (ICAA), with funds and guidance provided by USAID. DOI-ITAP leverages the technical knowledge of its staff and international partners in the areas of legal, regulatory, and institutional frameworks for effective management of indigenous territories; sustainable forest, fisheries, and wildlife management techniques; management of multiple use activities on indigenous lands; and the development of sustainable income generation activities on indigenous lands. DOI-ITAP gears its activities toward generating models for the management of indigenous territories in the region.
A Partner Parks relationship between Everglades National Park and Brazil's Pantanal National Park was established in October 1997 as a result of a U.S.-Brazil presidential summit. Through this relationship, facilitated by DOI-ITAP, officials from both parks visited each other and discussed issues related to park management, law enforcement, public affairs and outreach. The visitors to the Everglades returned to Brazil with a prototype visitor information brochure produced in partnership with Everglades public affairs staff.
Funding: USAID/Global Bureau & USAID/Brazil
Ecuador – Completed
Conserving Biodiversity in Ecuador's Protected Areas
DOI-ITAP provided technical assistance to conserve biodiversity in selected protected areas and their buffer zones. DOI provided technical assistance to The Nature Conservancy and its partners – Fundación Antisana and Fundación Ecologica Rumicocha – on key components of The Nature Conservancy's Project Bioreserva del Condor in five of Ecuador's high Andean protected areas: Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve, Antisana Ecological Reserve, Cotopaxi National Park, Sumaco Galeras National Park and the Cotocachi Cayapas buffer zone. DOI also provided technical assistance to CARE and its partners – Ecociencia and Jatun Sacha – on the SUBIR project and the Southern Border Development Program, and to Charles Darwin Foundation and Galapagos National Park in support of conservation in the Galapagos Islands. Assistance activities include: natural resource monitoring, invasive species management, oil spill planning and response, protected area management, marine law enforcement, visitor center development, environmental education and interpretation.
Galápagos Island Equipment Support
Conservation of Galápagos National Park remains a major challenge. Conflicts in recent years between fishermen and local conservation authorities have led to fierce rhetoric and violent action, and pressures from powerful stakeholder groups can dominate decision-making at the expense of conservation and responsible resource management. DOI-ITAP provided technical support for enforcement activities in Galápagos National Park. After completing a law enforcement needs assessment, DOI-ITAP procured a Seawolf amphibious plane (single engine, boat hulled) to support Galápagos law enforcement. Park staff was trained on its operation and maintenance. The Guadalupe River, an existing aluminum vessel used for many law enforcement and other purposes by the park staff, was also repaired and retrofitted through a contract facilitated by DOI-ITAP.
Peru - Completed
Protected Area Management
With its coastal deserts, high Andes, and Amazonian forests, Peru is one of the world's most environmentally diverse nations. Because the habitats are so diverse, the number of floral and faunal species found in Peru is very high. Peru contains 56 protected areas that total 12.7 percent of the land base for the country, over 40 million acres. Peru's Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA) is directed to manage Peru's system of protected areas under the Protected Natural Areas Law (No. 26834) of 1997. Because of limited funding and other problems, INRENA lacked many of the institutional capabilities to accomplish its mandate. DOI-ITAP provided technical assistance to support INRENA in its protected area management efforts, particularly with regard to making the case for an increased budget for INRENA, and generating increased revenue for the protected area system.