Obô Natural Park for São Tomé - PNOST

Obô Natural Park for São Tomé - PNOS

The Obô de São Tomé Natural Park (PNOST), created by Law No. 6/2006, is internationally recognized for its global relevance for the conservation of biodiversity, incorporating most of the remaining native forests on the island of São Tomé. park are well defined in the respective law and, since it was established, the PNOST has already had three Management Plans (PM; periods 2009-2014, 2015-2020 and 2021-2025).
 
Park Management Zones
In the central area of the PNOST, five macro-management areas are defined, considering their territorial discontinuity (PNOST 2021-2023 management plan).
Full protection zones:
  • Central massif – Integral protection zone I
  • Central massif – Integral protection zone II
Controlled exploration zones:
  • Central massif - Partial protection zone,
  • Savannah of Praia das Conchas and Lagoa Azul,
  • Malanza Mangroves.
In addition to these, eight (8) micro-management areas were also identified: (1) mangroves at Praia das Conchas and Praia Quinze, (2) Bom Sucesso and Caminho do Fugido, (3) Hydroelectric Use of Contador, (4) micro ecosystem of Lagoa Amélia, (5) Roça Monte Carmo hotspot; (6) São Miguel Bay; (7) Malanza mangrove (wetland), (8) Pico de São Tomé and Pico Pequeno area.
 
History of management, delimitations and governance
 
The Basic Environmental Law (Law n°10/1999) and the Fauna, Flora and Protected Areas Conservation Law (Law n°11/1999) paved the way for the designation of terrestrial and marine protected areas, recognizing the heritage unique nature of STP, its richness and the intrinsic value of endemism. This aim was achieved in 2006, with the institutionalization of terrestrial protected areas, through the creation of the Obô Natural Park of São Tomé (PNOST, Law n°6/2006) and the Príncipe Natural Park (PNP, Law n.º7/2006 ), responding to the nationally recognized need to create a National System of Protected Areas.
The name "Obô" used in the designation "Parque Natural Obô de São Tomé" means "virgin forest" in forro, the main dialect originating from the island of São Tomé, and applies to the entire area of protected and/or native forest. It is a term widely used throughout the island, already well associated with the Park area, thus ensuring a good appropriation of its natural heritage by the local population.

Main Management Interventions in the PNOST

Limits of PNOST

The PNOST is divided into three distinct geographic zones, protecting the central massif of São Tomé, composed of native forests and former secondary forests, the savannas and mangroves in the North, and the largest mangrove and turtle nesting beach in the South, covering a total of 25,274 ha. The central massif of the PNOST is one of the best preserved parts of the island due to its rugged terrain and humid climate, which makes access and cultivation difficult for people. The North and South zones of the PNOST are much more invaded by settlements and human activities and are at risk of rapid degradation. In addition to the three main sections of the PNOST, the law provides for a transition zone, surrounding the PNOST, called the "buffer zone" that extends beyond the limits of the Park, "in a strip whose width can vary between 250m and 10km" ( Law n°6/2006, Article 5, no. 2), in which only specific low-impact activities are allowed. The North and South sections of the PNOST (i.e. North Savana and the Malanza Mangrove) are generally The PNOST is divided into three distinct geographical zones, protecting the central massif of São Tomé, made up of native forests and former secondary forests, the savannas and mangroves in the North, and the largest mangrove and turtle nesting beach in the South, covering a total of 25,274 ha. The central massif of the PNOST is one of the best preserved parts of the island due to its rugged terrain and humid climate, which makes access and cultivation difficult for people. The North and South zones of the PNOST are much more invaded by settlements and human activities and are at risk of rapid degradation. In addition to the three main sections of the PNOST, the law provides for a transition zone, surrounding the PNOST, called the "buffer zone" that extends beyond the limits of the Park, "in a strip whose width can vary between 250m and 10km" ( Law n°6/2006, Article 5, no. 2), in which only specific low-impact activities are allowed. The North and South sections of the PNOST (ie Northern Savana and Malanza Mangrove) are generally considered to have no buffer zones.