Manzanillo Park Boundaries Expand, so Do Concerns
A recently published decree adds more than 2,500 meters of inland territory to the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, along the Caribbean coast near the Panama border.
The refuge, originally established in 1985 to protect coral reefs, nesting sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and a range of habitat almost unique to the refuge, is located just south of Puerto Viejo, a popular tourist town.
The decree, published in La Gaceta, the official government newspaper, expands the boundaries to include 2,500 meters inland from the mouth of the SixaolaRiver, along the Panama border, to 100 meters northeast of the CoclesRiver, but could potentially exclude the quickly expanding urban zones of Gandoca, Manzanillo and Puerto Viejo.
The order gives 30 days for the Municipality of Talamanca and the Environment and Energy Ministry (MINAE) to determine who should manage these regions.
According to a report in the daily La Nación, refuge officials are concerned that the new designation may “open the door” for uncontrolled development.
Edwin Cyrus, director of the regional conservation area told La Nación, “With this decree, the entire Maritime Zone of the park could be considered urban,” he said.
Municipal attorney Paola Mora, however, assured the daily that the municipality is in favor of environmental protection, and would work together with MINAE to find a favorable, conservative solution for park management.
You may be interested
Jean Marc Calvet, part III: Leaving Marco behindElizabeth Lang - May 18, 2018
This is the story of Nicaraguan-based French artist Jean Marc Calvet: a man whose complex life, obscurities and misfortunes overwhelmed…
Traditional masksThe Tico Times - May 18, 2018
Creating masks out of balsa wood, carved by their own hands and based on the their community's traditions, the Brunca…
Through adaptive surfing, disabled athletes conquer Costa Rica’s wavesEllen Zoe Golden - May 18, 2018
Part I of III. Costa Rica already maintains a stellar reputation as a surfing destination. According to Carlos Brenes of…