Electrical Plan May Affect Country’s Protected Areas

August 5, 2005

CONSTRUCTION of a high-tensionelectrical power line from Guatemala toPanama, coursing through all of CostaRica, may have some environmental risks,according to the Ombudsman’s Office.Together, all Central American electricitycompanies, including the Costa RicanElectricity Institute (ICE), will implementthe Electrical Interconnection System forCentral America (SIEPAC), a projectfinanced by the Interamerican DevelopmentBank, according to the daily Al Día.Ahmed Tabash, spokesman for theOmbudsman’s Office, said the 1,800-kilometerline will cut through five conservationareas and some protected areas inCosta Rica, including the Guanacaste andOsa conservation areas – in the northwesternprovince of Guanacaste and the country’sSouthern Zone, respectively – andCarara National Park on the centralPacific coast.“We consider this a project of greatimportance for national development, andonly ask that it not cause any environmentalproblems. We ask SETENA (theTechnical Secretariat of the EnvironmentMinistry) to guarantee it will not affectour protected areas,” Tabash said.

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