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No. 110
June 1992

Editor: Jane Villa-Lobos


The Talamanca region of southeastern Costa Rica contains a high degree of diversity and ranges from 12,533 feet atop Costa Rica's highest peak, Mt Chirripo, to sea level. It is presently possible to travel from the Continental Divide at the highest point in Costa Rica, through the La Amistad Biosphere Reserve to the Caribbean coast, while passing through a succession of natural areas comprising 9 life zones. In addition to protecting the great terrestrial biological diversity, the corridor protects a parallel "marine biological corridor", including Costa Rica's only intact coral reef and Atlantic mangrove forest, and extends into Panama's Bastimentos National Park. The upper portion of the area is fairly securely protected in the Chirripo and La Amistad National Parks, but at middle and lower elevations, the threat that the corridor will be cut by "development" is imminent. Therefore, conservation measures must be taken to protect the most ecologically diverse area in Central America.

The Talamanca Biological Corridor project, a joint effort between The Costa Rican Ministry of Natural Resources, the La Amistad Biosphere Reserve, The Nature Conservancy and several local NGO's, aims to maintain and enhance the existing corridor through land purchase, easements, agreements with indigenous communities, legal actions and sustainable development options. Immediate action is needed on the following activities: 1) precise definition of the limits of the proposed Talamanca Wildlands Corridor; 2) identification and purchase of strategic pieces of land under imminent threat; 3) initial design of an overall land use and management plan; and 4) precise calculation of the cost of establishing and maintaining the corridor. This work will be undertaken by an inter-institutional and multi- disciplinary commission appointed by the Vice Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines. The total amount needed to accomplish protection of the forested transect is $14.6 million over the next two years.

For further information on how to support conservation of this area, contact Dr. William O. McLarney, ANAI, Inc., 1176 Bryson City Road, Franklin, NC 28734; Tel: (704) 524-8369; Randy Curtis, The Nature Conservancy, Latin American Program, 1815 N. Lynn Street, Arlington, VA 22209; Tel: (703) 841-5300 or Lic. Mario Boza, Vice Ministro, Ministerio de Recursos Naturales, Energia y Minas, Apdo 10104-1000 San Jose, Costa Rica; Tel: (506) 552122.


Ecotour Manu, a non-profit NGO created on December 1, 1991, was formed by seven local operators from the provinces of Manu and Paucartambo in the Inka region of southeastern Peru. The main goal of the association is to guarantee a well planned and ecologically sustainable tourism activity in the Manu Biosphere Reserve by developing strategies and executing specific sustainable ecotourism projects in the reserve. For further information on the association, write Boris Gomez Luna, Ecotour Manu, Peru, Avenida Sol # 582, Cusco, Peru; Tel: 224383; Fax: 234793.


August 3-6. The Second Meeting of the International Society for Ecological Economics is holding an interdisciplinary conference, "Investing in Natural Capital: A Prerequisite for Sustainability" in Stockholm, Sweden. The conference will focus on three themes: perspectives on maintaining and investing in natural capital; ecological economic methods and case-studies on the significance of natural capital; and environmental management and policy implications - adjusting economic, technical, socio- political and cultural systems. For more information, contact: ISEE Conference Secretariat, Dept. of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden; Tel: (8) 164254; Fax: (8) 158417.

September 10-11. The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center will host a two-day symposium, "Forest Remnants in the Tropical Landscape: Benefits and Policy Implications" at the National Zoological Park, for ecologists, conservationists, social scientists, land use policy specialists and grass-roots rural development organizers. The symposium will focus on the ecological and social benefits of forest remnants in the tropical landscape and steps that can be taken to promote their conservation and wise management. The symposium will include brief talks, response and discussion sessions, and a poster session. For more information, contact Jaime K. Doyle, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, National Zoo, Washington, DC 20008; (202) 673-4908.

September 10-12. The University of Glasgow will host the International Conference of Molluscan Conservation. Sessions will address issues involving taxonomy, distributions, conservation and legislation. For further information, contact: Fred Woodward, International Conference on Molluscan Conservation, Kelvingrove Museum, Kelvingrove, Glasgow G3 8AG, U.K.; Fax: (041) 357-4537.

November 10-14. The III International Congress of Ethnobiology, organized by Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and the International Society for Ethnobiology, will be held in Mexico City. The forum will advance the discussion among scientists, conservation and indigenous representatives on the status and perspectives of the conservation of biological and cultural diversity. The official language of the Congress will be English. The Organizing Committee is calling for contributed papers, with abstracts due before July 30. Registration (before August 30) US$120 for regular participants; US$80 for students; US$60 for indigenous representatives. For more information, contact: Organizing Committee, III International Congress for Ethnobiology, Apartado postal 21-585, Coyoacan 04000, D.F., Mexico; Fax: (52-5) 548-9785 or e-mail: CABANI.UNAMVM1 (BITNET).


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