San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Cooperation Nets New Management Plan

The Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Ministry (MINAET) and landowners in La Carpintera, a mountainous zone and protected area east of San José, signed an agreement on Tuesday to help maintain the area’s natural resources.

MINAET, linking economic wellbeing with a healthy natural environment, said the General Management Plan for the Association of Proprietors of La Carpintera will help raise awareness among local residents about preservation and sustainable development practices.

The government will create a green certificate for products that are sustainably produced in the hills of La Carpintera, where agricultural practices will improve and area producers will get higher prices in the marketplace for their goods.

In return, residents will be expected to obey a series of zoning and regulatory laws designed to control the use of agrochemicals and to limit construction to practices that are considered “environmentally friendly.”

Area citizens must also respect the national forest law and protect water resources by preventing pollutants from entering waterways and aquifers.

All of this, MINAET said, will contribute to the development of La Carpintera’s tourism potential.

According to MINAET, the new agreement represents the first time that the Costa Rican government and private landowners who live in a protected area have jointly created a management plan for the conservation and development of a protected area.

La Carpintera is known for its white sapote, cypress and ash trees. The zone is also home to several natural hot springs.

–Mike McDonald

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