Group Criticizes Presidential Decree

May 21, 2004

THE Costa Rican Federation forConservation of the Environment(FECON) sharply criticized the CostaRican government this week for allowinga presidential decree that regulates thefelling of trees in coastal areas.“Less than one month from the nextInternational Day of the Environment, theMinisters of Tourism, of the Environmentand Energy and the President legalize thefelling of trees in the maritime zone, inthe name of poorly titled eco-tourism,”FECON representative Juan Figueroa saidin a statement.President Abel Pacheco and TourismMinister Rodrigo Castro defended theirdecision, claiming the government is notagainst the natural resources of the country,and is only attempting to regulatetheir use, the daily La Nación reported.In the statement, FECON claims anyactivity involving tourists and dollars endsup being called eco-tourism, including“raising buildings 14 meters high anddevastating the only and most spectaculartrees that remain on the coasts.”The decree was published in the officialgovernment newspaper La Gaceta onMay 14.

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