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ProCantão was designed to implement the Public Use Component of the park’s management plan, focusing primarily on the zone designated for ecotourism activities between the bordering town of Caseara and the Furo do Cicica. This  zone serves as a buffer for the park’s most primitive areas.  Environmentally friendly actions such as organized ecotourism in this zone will help protect these primitive areas, while building constituency for the park among visitors and the local community.

Instituto Araguaia is conducting this project in partnership with the park agency Naturatins (www.naturatins.to.gov.br), and the NGO Associação Onça D´agua (www.oncadagua.org.br). Each partner brings its own contribution to the project.

The project started with one international and two local technical workshops, where several itineraries were developed, the potential impacts of ecotourism discussed, and rules and regulations to minimize them were defined.  In addition, on-the-ground monitoring techniques for the park’s major attractions were established.

Two sets of interpretive trails were developed and equipped with benches, signs, and other needed infrastructure.  Interpretive folders and pannels were produced, to fully equip the park’s visitor center, along with videos and other audio-visual material.

Five workshops were ministered to the local community, covering all aspects of ecotourism development.  Tour conductors and boat pilots were also trained and prepared to conduct and provide information to park visitors. Initially, the project has selected six local conductors to start the project.  The park has received a traditional canoe and an electric motor to foment the tours. In the future, a rotating fund will be created to provide electric motors, batteries and safety gear to other conductors. 

Patrolling has been intensified, and the tourism activities will be constantly monitored in order to verify its impact of the local biota, as well as in the local economy and, of course, to verity the degree of visitor satisfaction.   In parallel, areas with no visitation will be monitored and data will be compared with those areas where visitation is allowed.  

The park was open to the public in June 2013. The project has helped Instituto Araguaia to hire a field technician to monitor the entire area before the opening and after the opening, in order to identify potential impacts on the ecosystem. Next year she will also apply questionnaires to verify whether the visitor expectations have been met and obtain suggestions for improvement in the short term.