Environmental trust to fund patrols around Costa Rica marine territories

December 5, 2011

A fund established Monday will work to ensure ongoing and sustainable financing for patrolling Costa Rica’s marine territories near Isla del Coco National Park off the Pacific Coast.

Costa Rican Public Security Minister Mario Zamora and Vice-Minister of the Environment Ana Lorena Guevara were on-hand to observe the signing of an accord by the non-governmental marine conservation organization, MarViva, and Aldesa Trust S.A., to establish the $2 million fund.

“This trust, I believe, is an important step in the work to control and monitor an area as extensive as the conservation areas of Isla del Coco and the Submarine Mountains, an area of more than 11,000 square kilometers, that, in reality, the country doesn’t have the capacity to patrol,” said Jorge Jiménez, general director of MarViva.

Funds generated by investments will be used to for maintenance and upkeep of patrol boats to monitor the area. Jiménez said the plan is to grow the fund to upwards of $4 million. Cash from the trust will also be used to pay for scientific studies every two years to evaluate environmental protection efforts in the areas, Jiménez said.

Zamora said issues of national sovereignty and public security in Costa Rica are increasingly tied to environmental protection particularly in areas like Isla del Coco that suffer both from illegal fishing and high levels of drug trafficking.

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