The Embassy of the United States
of America and Uruguay’s National Environment Office
(DINAMA) organized a three-day Workshop on Sustainable Park
Management in order to contribute to local capacity-building
in this issue. The workshop was held at the Hostería
Fortín de San Miguel in Rocha, on October 20-22.
The training sessions were conducted by
two experts from the US National Park Service: Shawn Norton,
NPS Environmental Leadership Program Leader, Shawn Norton,
and the Deputy Superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains
National Recreation Area, Lorenza Fong.
National Environment Director Andrés
Saizar attended the opening ceremony. More than 30 representatives
from a wide range of Uruguayan organizations participated
in this event including representatives from the Protected
Areas Division of the National Environment Office; Ministry
of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries; Army Park Service
of the Ministry of National Defense; municipalities; non-government
organizations; Uruguayan Network of Environmental NGOs;
Historic Patrimony Commission of the Ministry of Education
and Culture; Environmental Network of the University of
the Republic; park rangers; and representatives from the
The workshop covered issues related to the
management of national parks such as planning, development
of management plans, transportation inside parks, facilities
planning and construction, facilities operation and maintenance,
concessions, visitor management, marketing, and fundraising.
The participants were able to apply those principles in
a case study aimed at developing a management plan for the
Fortín de San Miguel National Park.
This training workshop is part of
a new era in the history of cooperation between the United
States and Uruguay. It was an excellent opportunity to exchange
ideas about principles and practices related to sustainable
park management. The general consensus was -in the United
States as well as in any other country in the world- it
is extremely important to have parks to allow preservation
of natural and cultural values for the enjoyment and education
of present and future generations.