Over two million people visit State Parks and Protected Areas in São Paulo every year. This volume of people may not seem very significant when we consider the dispersion of visitors amongst every PA and if we compare this number to the visitation potential of each PA. Nevertheless, visitors can have major negative impacts on PAs due to a lack of management policy efficiency and enforcement, as well as because of poor allocation of resources to aid in such monitoring.
Additionally, public visitation of natural protected areas may adverse effects on the local natural resources, which may be worsened in areas that lack proper planning the infrastructure to accommodate such visitors. The growing demand by tourists to visit the PAs and the pressures that this may cause on the natural environment resulted in the need of a standardized, integrated and effective program to monitor the impacts of visitation on each park’s trails and attractions, as well as a need to elaborate a public policy on the subject.
Ekos Brasil is evaluating all existing resources and methods, assessing their adequacy for their implementation in the PAs and to take full advantage of what each resource can offer – adapting it when necessary – to construct a program that evaluates and manages the socio-environmental impacts of public visitation in the State PAs of São Paulo.