San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Tribunal Cracks Down on Osa Environmental Violations

The Environmental Tribunal cited 13 new instances of illegal land use changes on the OsaPeninsula in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone, the court announced Tuesday, July 6.

The tribunal is an administrative court of the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Ministry.

Violations cited include soil removal and road construction without permits, tree removals, destruction of mangrove swamps and, in some cases, damage to water supplies.

The court cited violations on 11 different properties – five tourist developments and six homes – located in six different towns on the OsaPeninsula. The violations occurred on properties owned by both foreigners and Costa Ricans.

Proprietors who believe the court to be wrong can challenge the tribunal’s accusations. Otherwise, violators must pay a fine determined by the court based on the amount of damage done.

The citations are the result of an environmental sweep that court investigators completed in March 2010. In total, the tribunal has identified 59 cases of environmental damages in the Osa region since the court was created in 1995.

–Mike McDonald

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