Puerto Rico Category
The Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative established a Protected Areas Conservation Action Team in January 2015. The team was established “To provide information and guidance in support of the establishment and management of comprehensive protected areas systems in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico“.
Find out more about the work and publications of the Protected Areas Conservation Action Team.
More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and that figure is expected to increase to 61 percent by 2030. The trend towards increasing urbanization is the same in the Caribbean. Urban protected areas provide many economic, social, and health benefits to urban populations, but are routinely degraded by urban sprawl and pollution.
One of the forms of pollution that produces negative impact on protected areas is light pollution. That is because ecosystems and many species of wildlife have evolved to depend on natural darkness. As such, artificial light interrupts the proper functioning of ecosystems. In the Caribbean, we are familiar with the issue of the impact of coastal lighting on the laying habits of marine turtles, and many destinations have taken measures to address this problem. Similarly, there are global dark skies initiatives, including initiatives focused on protected areas.
The Caribbean has always shown innovation in protected areas management, and crafting solutions to the dark skies issue is one area in which that innovation has been demonstrated. Para La Naturaleza, a unit of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, played a leading role in a community effort to reduce light pollution around the Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, located in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
Read the full Case Study
IUCN Dark Skies Advisory Group