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Cuba: Mountains Granted Protection in Sancti Spiritus
According to Nestor Álvarez, from the local environmental department, this kind of ecosystems are so fragile that demands sustainable development patterns in order to face the environments problems.

Among other activities undertaken to this end, Cubas Plan Turquino project was created in 1987 for the integral and continuous development of mountainous territories taking into consideration production demands, social needs as well as the rational use of resources and natural conditions.

Approximately the 13 per cent of Sancti Spirituss territory is part of the Plan Turquino program including local range of mountains and Jobo Rosado protected areas, Topes de Collantes natural landscape and part of Alturas de Banao ecological reserves.

Among the most important achievements on protection issues in this province, the specialist referred to the sustained increase of forests, the diminishing of pollution and the continuation of instructive programs led by Cuban education and culture ministries and the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation.

He also mentioned the insertion of agro-ecological farms in the agricultural programs and the re-arrangement of the coffee plantation areas which allows more free land to raise other kind of crops.

Mountains are not so high in Cuba, but nearly the 18 per cent of the countrys area is covered by low and medium size mountains grouped in four large groups: the Guaniguanico range to the west, Guamuhaya hills -also known as Escambray- in central Cuba and eastern Sierra Maestra and Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa mountainous chain.

Cuban mountains are considered one of the most important centers of evolution, dispersion and endemism in the Antilles.


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