“What a nice day! Let’s go somewhere to relax…”
Somewhere can mean anywhere, but usually by using the word “relax”, people tend to think in nature. Beautiful landscapes, fresh air, cute animals; who would not be attracted to that? There are a lot of options on where people should go to “relax” and have a good time. National Parks are the favourite ones.
A National Park is a category of management of a protected wilderness area whose objective is the conservation, defense and improvement of the environment and the natural resources involved.In addition of being a conservation area, people are allowed to enter, but it isn’t aregular park, or like places called “Balnearios”So there are certain issues to keep in mind when visiting this type of places.
The use of logic is always good. Of course, as it is a conservation area, people are allowed to enjoy these spaces, but without damaging or harming the environment.Who would dare to harm something as beautiful as nature? Well, sometimes because of ignorance people perform acts that are actually forbidden, other times they do it by being aware that it is wrong. This second group of people are really unpleasant. But at least, for the people interested in learning and making this world, a better world, here are some facts that we must know.
While legislations vary around the world, many of them have similarities. Let’s learn some of the rulesthrough situations:
If while you walk appears a snake, usually you think about running or if you are “brave” enough, you think in killing it to defend yourself. Well you’d better have chosen the first option, since it is prohibited to kill, damage or frighten wild animals, or destroy their lairs or nests. It is recommended to walk away from the place, and inform the park ranger o the place manager.
It doesn’t even matter if we you have found something dead because collecting and / or extracting any material, alive or dead, without the corresponding permission of the Authority is prohibited. There is a license for doing that.
“What a beautiful flower! It would look nice for a photo.”Well, yes, you can take amazing photos of the flower, but by extracting them? Please, don’t! It is forbidden to destroy, to remove or to remove plants of the place.
Having a good time for majority is generally synonymous of drinking alcohol, “A beer with friends does not cause any harm, right?” Well, consuming or selling alcoholic beverages, narcotics or other drugs of any type, as well as enter to the area intoxicated it is prohibited.
Besides alcoholic beverages, there is also something almost indispensable to have a good time: music! If you love group meetings with a guitar and people singing, a National Park is not the place for you, as it is prohibited to use sound elements (radios, musical instruments, etc.) that disturb the natural environment or other visitors.
For people who love to take their pets for a walk, they must remember that they need the authorization of the administration to enter or transit domestic animals within the area.
You must not perform recreational activities in places other than those indicated (camps, lunches, bath room, etc.). National parks as they are designed so that people enjoy the contact with nature, they usually have specific areas in which people can carry out the activities mentioned.
There are other things to take in count but this are the principal ones. For last but not least, don’t litter. It talks a lot of what kind of people you are.
On June 21, the National Parks Day is commemorated in Paraguay by Decree No. 21,525 / 93, in order to raise awareness among citizens about the importance of these places for nature care.
The parks and national reserves of Paraguay occupy an area equivalent to almost 3% of the national territory, where almost 40% of the native flora and fauna are found, whose species, for the most part, are in extinction.Why? Most of the time, because of one kind of people. The unpleasant ones.
It is our duty to take care of the wild spaces, and to respect the regulations that have been created for the well-being of all and for the conservation of the protected area.
 Art. 4.Paraguayan Law No 352-94 “Protected Wilderness Areas”Available in Spanish: http://www.seam.gov.py/sites/default/files/ley_352_0.pdf
 I couldn’t find the perfect translation for this word, but in Paraguay it is used for places with lakes or rivers, where people go to enjoy the nature, and also to drink and dance.
 Extracted from the Resolution Nº 781/05 of the Ministry of Environment of Paraguay. Available in Spanish: http://seam.gov.py/sites/default/files/resolucion%20781.pdf
 Different category of management. Generally stricter than National Parks.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Antonella Méndez is an educator, environmentalist and agent of change. She holds a Bachelor Degree in International Trade and she is graduating this year (2017) with a Professional Law Degree at the National University of Asunción. She is Assistant Professor of Sociology of Law and she is member of the research committee at university. She is host of a live TV program about analysis and debate of general interest topics.