The Association for the Conservation and Development of the Escazú Mountains (CODECE) has won one of three “Environmental Torch” prizes granted by the World Conservation Union to recognize community-based conservation projects.
CODECE has 20 years of experience connecting sustainable tourism with environmental protection in the western San José suburb of Escazú. Besides monitoring the 7,000-hectare protected zone of the Escazú hills – what they call the lungs of San José – the group promotes organic farming, works in environmental education and runs cultural tours of the region (TT, March 24).
“The prize encourages us to continue with even greater strength,” said Diana Rojas, director of the association. CODECE works in collaboration with the Municipality of Escazú, and is part of a network to promote similar partnerships in other area towns.
The World Conservation Union chose a grand prize winner and two runners-up, one of which is CODECE, among Central American organizations for their environmental impact, social impact, local participation and steadfastness.