Decree 1637 created Pico Codazzi Natural Monument on June 5, 1991 to connect Henri Pittier National Park and Macarao National Park, and serve as an ecological corridor between San Esteban National Park and the cloud forests of the Cordillera de la Costa. It was also created to protect the geographical features associated with Colonia Tovar's cultural and historical values.
The National Parks Institute (INPARQUES) is responsible for administering and managing the monument. At the time of this evaluation, there was no management plan in place. It is, however, being managed according to general law applicable to protected areas: the Partial Regulations for National Land Use, National Parks, and Natural Monuments Organic Law. The monument lacks sufficient personnel in order to apply the regulations spelled out in the law (República de Venezuela 1989).
In the Petaquire River Basin (819 ha), the monument partially overlaps with the Caracas' Metrolpolitan Protected Zone, an "Area Under Special Administration" (ABRAE). The Caracas' Metropolitan Protected Zone was created in 1972 to define the city's boundaries and to preserve open spaces for conservation and recreation. In 1993, the zone's land use and regulations plan was promulgated. The plan permits agricultural and forestry activities in the section of the ABRAE that overlaps with Pico Codazzi Natural Monument. According to the natural protected areas laws, however, these activities should be prohibited in natural monuments. This overlap of protected areas represents a weakness for Pico Codazzi. In cases of overlap, such as this one, the most stringent regulations should prevail for the area.
There are three INPARQUES personnel assigned to Pico Codazzi Natural Monument: a superintendent, a division manager, and one park guard. There is only one office-a small space found within the Ministry of Agriculture and Land building. There are no park guard stations. The superintendent for Pico Codazzi is also responsible for Macarao National Park and the same vehicle is used for monitoring activities in both protected areas. Colonia Tovar's municipal mayor's office provides another vehicle and fuel. The management office does not have telephones; the radios have been donated by INPARQUES and Tovar's municipal mayor's office.
INPARQUES administrative office at the Ministry of Agriculture, photo: Viviana Salas
There is a fire fighting station located outside of the protected area and two vehicles dedicated for fire fighting. The first vehicle is a 4 wheel drive and is owned by INPARQUES. The other is a tanker truck that was donated by Vargas' municipal mayor's office. It should be noted that mayor's offices are not obligated to provide materials or equipment to help the protected areas located within their jurisdictions. In Pico Codazzi's case, the local governments have been important supporters of the park's management.