Land-reform drive targeting private reserve


Green activists complain Venezuela’s protected areas are anything but. They point to national parks damaged by illegal logging and slash-and-burn agriculture and—most recently—to government plans to hand the bulk of an internationally known private reserve over to peasant farmers. For over 50 years, the family that operates Hato Piñero, a 198,000-acre (80,000-ha) hacienda in Cojedes state about five hours south of Caracas, has scaled back ranching operations and turned to conservation, ecotourism and the hosting of researchers. But in recent months the government-recognized reserve has become a target in the land-reform campaign of populist Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Featuring wetlands, grassy plains, mountains and forest, Hato Piñero hosts bird species including white, scarlet, and glossy ibises, ospreys... [Log in to read more]

Would you like to Subscribe?