VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT FOR RESOURCE MANAGEMENT OF A NATURAL PROTECTED AREA
Free (open access)
117 - 123
MARIO DANIEL VERDUGO, OSCAR ARIZPE, ARTURO GONZALEZ-BAHEZA
The present study analyzes the vulnerability assessment as a tool and reference for a sustainable managing of the Natural Protected Area (NPA) San Jose del Cabo Estuary Mexico (ESJC). ESJC is a coastal oasis of fresh water located close to the Gulf of California mouth, and it is an important refuge for migratory birds and endemic species that inhabit the estuary. ESJC has been threatened by the rapid urbanization and tourist development in Los Cabos, which created negative effects such as land changes, sewage discharges and invasive species, affecting largely the quality of the estuary. In this context the main purpose of the study was to evaluate the vulnerability of every micro region of ESJC in order to propose management strategies of the NPA. We made a characterization and regionalization of ESJC. We propose an index (VI) based on indicators to represent the vulnerability, as well as the natural and socio-ecological pressures affecting the refuge. The VI was shaped adding fragility index (FI) and pressure index (PI). The FI and PI were created from the indicators that were normalized to dimensionless quantities ranging from 0 to 1. In result, the indexes infer a high vulnerability of the lagoon and the upstream area with natural vegetation: The FI shows the frailty due to runoffs, sediments, natural vegetation, endemic species and exposed population; the PI represents high values of pressure from tourism development, demography, runoff from floods, and the agricultural and urban activities. The integrated vulnerability evaluation from biophysical and socioeconomic aspects for a protected area allows an establishment of a management proposal strategy for sustainability of the ESJC.
vulnerability assessment, sustainability, pressure, fragility, natural protected area