Community Advisory Board
Management advisory boards are community-based groups organized to provide advice and recommendations to the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) or the regulatory agency in charge of implementing public policy, in this case environmental, to manage and conserve natural areas. Advisory boards play an important role in facilitating communication between stakeholders, community members, non-governmental institutions, and regulatory agencies.
Community boards provide advice for the evaluation of previously validated action plans and projects, including education and outreach efforts, applied research, and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. Advisory groups are important in the review, evaluation of validity, and validation of actions over time, as well as promoting adaptive management processes.
In turn, by representing different sectors of interest, it provides a diversity of perspectives, expertise, experiences, to be considered in decision-making; strengthening multisectoral communication, strengthening the sense of place/belonging and facilitating the administration of natural resources at the local level.
In 2008, the RNCLP Management Plan was adopted, authorizing and providing the basis for the creation of a community management board to facilitate its implementation towards the conservation of the reserve's biodiversity. In 2013, the first management board for the natural reserve was established, with representation from the community in general, the fishing community, businesses, the municipality, the scientific community, and education and outreach. It has evolved and now meets six to twelve times a year.
Mary Ann Lucking
Miembro institucional ACDEC/ Municipio de Culebra
The vision of the Community Advisory Board for Collaborative Management of the Canal Luis Peña Natural Reserve (Community Council) is to make the reserve a national, regional and international example of collaborative management in which the community of the Island Municipality of Culebra assumes the Commitment together with the DNER and the Culebra Conservation and Development Authority (ACDEC) to ensure the conservation, preservation and restoration of natural resources and coastal and marine ecosystems. In this way, the rational use and sustainable development of its environmental goods and services will be promoted. Thus, a planned and sustainable socio-economic development will be favored that will stimulate a better quality of life for Puerto Ricans and future generations.
The mission of the Advisory Board is to promote the conservation and sustainable development of the Reserve's ecosystems in a manner consistent with the public policy of the DNER as also established by Law 66 of 1975, as amended, through the implementation of strategies to execute actions of Management Plan validated by the community; and fostering the active participation of the Culebran community and sectors of interest, in an adaptive spirit and learning from the lessons learned from the past.
The role of the Community Council is to collaborate for the conservation of the natural resources of the Canal de Luis Peña Natural Reserve as an advisory body to the DRNA and ACDEC.
The Community Council issues recommendations and advice to regulatory agencies regarding:
- the protection and development of natural and cultural resources
- the identification and evaluation of emerging conflicts related to the ecosystems of the Canal Luis Peña Natural Reserve
- the implementation and revision of the Action Plan of the Natural Reserve Management Plan
- Identification and implementation of education and outreach efforts to increase public awareness and strengthen the sense of belonging of the Culebran community
- Issues of permits and endorsements for projects that could directly have an impact or have a potential impact on the ecological integrity of the Canal Luis Peña Natural Reserve