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Due to its geographic location and Federal Dependency status, many governmental organizations are present in Los Roques. In order to prevent the overlap of responsibilities, the Autoridad Única de Área (AUA) was created in 1991. The goal of this organization, which is ascribed to the Ministry of the Environment, is to coordinate the functions of all the institutions present in the park in order to follow the Management Plan for Los Roques Archipelago National Park.


Since 1991, Los Roques has a management plan in which seven management zones are outlined:

  • Integral Protection Zone: Made up of the islands Selesquí, Los Canquises, Isla Larga and the Esparquí-Sebastopol-Boca de Cote complex, and emergent zones around them like sand bars and reefs. Access is restricted and only monitoring and research activities supervised by INPARQUES are allowed.
  • Primitive Zone: Includes the marine area that surrounds Selesquí Island coral reef, Cayo Carenero, and part of the area that surrounds Los Canquises (a distance of half a nautical mile [926 m]). Also included are Cayo Sal, Dos Mosquises Norte, Cayo de Agua, Bequevé, and the East Barrier, which contains the keys of Nordisquí, Cayo Vapor, Cayo Muerto, Botosquí, Saquisaqui, among others (see map).
  • Managed Natural Environment Zone: Includes the keys Remanso Isla Felipe, Isla Fernando, Yonquí, Sarquí, Espenquí, Isla Agustín (Prestonquí), Turquí, Sandquí, Cayo Loco, and Rabusquí. All areas that are not included in any other category, as the waters that lie outside the archipelago but that remain inside park limits, fall under this category.
  • Recreation Zone: Includes Gran Roque islands, and the keys and reefs of Francisquíes, Rasquí, Madrisquí, Cayo Pirata, Noronquises and Crasquí.
  • Zone of Historic, Cultural, Archaeologic and Paleontologic Interest: Includes certain sectors of Bequevé, Cayo de Agua, Dos Mosquises, middle Noronquí, Cayo Sal, Los Canquises, Gran Roque, and Crasquí keys.
  • Service Zone: Comprises areas of the park allotted for the installation of infrastructure for tourism, scientific research, and anchoring zones for boats.
  • Special Use Zone: Includes all areas that have been affected or submitted to activities that go against park rules to which special management plans have been assigned. These are:
    • Navigation Channel, a 100m wide waterway that determines the entrance route to the park by sea.
    • Dos Mosquises Sur key, includes the surface of this key and all installations dedicated to scientific research.
    • Gran Roque Island, where the only permanent human settlement is found and the categories of Managed Natural Environment Zone, Service Zone, Recreation Zone, and Traditional Human Settlement Zone have been included on the island.

According to the AUA's creation decree (1,214 of Gaceta Oficial N° 4,250E, 01/18/1991), this organization is in charge of administering public services and urban regulations in Gran Roque Island, the fulfillment of the management plan for the town and tourist activity control. The desalination plant that produces water for human consumption, in addition to the electric plant and management of waste, are all controlled by the AUA. Their operating expenses come almost entirely from taxes paid by tourist operators in the park (restaurants and lodges) and a visitor entrance fee. The AUA has 50 employees in Los Roques and approximately 25 in Caracas.


In other respects, environmental regulation and administration of non-tourist zones in the park fall under the jurisdiction of the National Parks Institute (INPARQUES), the organization responsible for administration and management of national parks in Venezuela. Aside from these two institutions (AUA and INPARQUES), the Autonomous Fishery Service (SARPA), ascribed to the Ministry of the Environment; regulates fishing activities in the archipelago with the help of INPARQUES and the National Guard.


INPARQUES has seven park guards and one superintendent (Ing. Jesús Durán) that monitor and guard the park. Most of them are stationed at the Gran Roque guard post. The Dos Mosquises post has one guard, and there are no permanent personnel at the Crasquí post. The park has three boats with only one of them working properly. The latter is an 18-foot boat with two 175 HP motors that was donated by the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation (AECI). The AECI also donated computer equipment to the office of INPARQUES in Gran Roque. The headquarters in Gran Roque, Dos Mosquises guard post, and the boat donated by the AECI are all equipped with radios.


The park has three access routes by sea, all duly outlined in navigation charts and marked by beacons. There is one beacon on the northeastern limits in the Boca de Sebastopol (11° 46' N, 66° 35' W), another at the southwestern tip close to Dos Mosquises (11° 48' N, 66° 54' W), and the third located around the north access in Gran Roque Island. The islands visited by tourists are well marked. However, Integral Protection Zones and Managed Natural Environment Zones visited by ParksWatch-Venezuela lacked signs or the existing signs were not properly maintained.



                          The guard station in Dos Mosquises Sur


The annual budget assigned to INPARQUES for managing Los Roques is of 30,000,000 bolívares (about US $30,000). All of this money comes from the central administration. Other minor income comes from entrance fees (visiting boats) and from a few older lodges that do not pay the AUA. On the other hand, in the year 2000, the AUA received approximately 418,505,000 bolívares (about US $418,505) from entrance fees alone (payment from lodges or other income are not included in this amount).


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