Environmental Impact Report for Off Road Driving (ORD) in Parke Nacional Arikok

Aruba has overstretched its resources beyond sustainable levels (ATA 2018). One of numerous factors putting pressure on Aruba’s natural resources is off-road driving (ORD). There has been a significant increase in ORD on Aruba in recent years. With visitation to Parke Nacional Arikok - one of the management areas of the FPNA - increasing annually by an average of 15% over the last three years, FPNA has directed her energies to placing signage at key points in the park and increasing enforcement of the park rules and regulations. As a consequence of a preliminary impact assessment by FPNA of the Shete-Conchi area, the Shete entrance to Parke Nacional Arikok was closed in 2019, thereby reducing the access area being impacted for reaching Conchi (Natural Pool) - the most popular destination in Parke Nacional Arikok - while still ensuring accessibility via the main entrance at San Fuego. Certain areas in Parke Nacional Arikok can have a daily average of 715 vehicles going towards and coming back from frequently visited areas, with negative effects on the natural areas within the reserve (Stevens 2019). Several additional surveys have since then indicated the severity and continuity of the impact of ORD.

The impacts recorded from 2018 to 2020 were:

  • Dust Impact on vegetation
  • Sedimentation in rooi systems
  • Terrigenous sedimentation in the adjacent Marine Protected Area (MPA Arikok)
  • Unauthorised Road Creation and Road Widening
  • Covid-19 park closure’s positive impact on Flora and Fauna of Parke Nacional Arikok
  • Presence Protected Fauna & Protected Fauna Roadkill
  • ORD engine oil spill in Parke Nacional
  • ORD accidents in Parke Nacional Arikok

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