National Parks Face Challenges

September 8, 2006

Although the country’s conservation areas are the main tourist attractions in the country, most of them are in poor condition, the daily La República reported.

Conservation areas face a deficit of 200 rangers, 40% of their official vehicles are damaged and their infrastructure is deteriorated because of a lack of maintenance, according to La República.

They also are lacking resources for maritime patrolling, a duty the government has delegated to the nonprofit conservationist organization MarViva.

To obtain the necessary resources to overcome their neglect, the government might opt for a $20 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Environment and Energy Minister Roberto Dobles told the daily.

Costa Rica, home to 27 national parks, launched National Parks Week Aug. 25 with a ceremony attended by Dobles and other government officials at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, in the mountaintop community of Monteverde.

Monteverde is a private reserve, but it is part of a conservation area and conservation is what is important, said Patricia Alpízar, spokeswoman for MINAE.

“It doesn’t matter who the owner is,” Alpízar said.

Officials stressed the need for the public and private sectors to work together on conservation of natural resources, she said, adding that Monteverde’s relative proximity to San José and its preservation successes are among the reasons it was chosen to host the event.

 

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