Costa Rica, Nicaragua to Clean Up San Juan River

October 8, 2004

MANAGUA (AFP) – Costa Rica andNicaragua will work together on morethan 20 projects designed to clean up thepolluted basin of the San Juan River,which forms part of the border betweenthe two countries.The projects are based on an environmentaldiagnostic report of the river,which representatives of both governmentspresented in a bi-national conferencein Managua.The report, resulting from a two-yearstudy, was financed by the WorldEnvironment Fund (FMAM) within theframework of the bi-national Pro-Basin ofthe San Juan River project, in which bothgovernments agreed to take part in nineyears ago.During the two-day conference, representativesof both countries analyzed theviability of the projects, which are relatedto the treatment of solid wastes,improvement of water quality, ecotourismand fishing, among other things.The basin covers an area of more than38,000 square kilometers, from LakeNicaragua, tributaries that converge on theSan Juan River and the Tortuguero riverbasin in Costa Rica to the Caribbean Sea.The diagnostic report concluded thewater in the basin is polluted with “solidwaste, agricultural chemicals and fecalmatter,” problems, it said, that can beresolved with short and mid-term rescueprojects.Vice-Ministers of the Environment ofboth Costa Rica and Nicaragua participatedin the conference.

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