Costa Rica adds 5,000 New Species to National Biodiversity Strategy

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Approximately 5,000 new species of flora and fauna were added to the natural wealth of Costa Rica in the last four years, updating National Biodiversity Strategy (NBS).

    In 2009 Costa Rica accounted for around 87,000 species, but a new survey conducted this year brought the number to 92,000 said the executive director of the National Commission for Biodiversity Management (CONAGEBIO), Marta Jimenez.

    Overall, since 2009, there were 4,166 new species of invertebrates, 49 birds, 5 reptiles, 2 amphibians, a mammal and 700 fungi, lichens, nematodes, and plants, according to the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE).

    Jimenez said it was not necessarily 5,000 species never before seen in Costa Rica, but many of them were located in existing families.

    The report also highlights the threats to the biodiversity of Costa Rica, on which the authorities should focus their efforts to combat them in the coming years through the National Biodiversity Strategy.

    These threats include increased human population and their patterns of use and consumption, pollution, habitat change, overexploitation of natural resources, invasive species and climate change.

    Jimenez explained that the assessment of the status of Costa Rican biodiversity finalized in the coming months and will serve as the basis for the National Biodiversity Strategy 2014-2020, with which it will apply the National Biodiversity Policy.

    The Strategy is developed by the National Conservation Areas and CONAGEBIO, MINAE two bodies, which also will be responsible for following up, Jimenez said.

    The instrument will allow the implementation of the International Convention on Biological Diversity, which promotes biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from such use.

    The Strategy aims to identify and address the causes of biodiversity loss, conservation methods to improve and enhance the enjoyment of the benefits generated by ecosystems and systems of natural resource management.

    The update of the Strategy is accompanied by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), especially research on the relationship between agriculture and natural resources.

    For its part, Costa Rican Vice Minister of Environment, Ana Lorena Guevara, said that the Strategy Costa Rica meet its international commitments and will include aspects related to agriculture.

    “We’ve been losing agricultural diversity and we think that in the update of the National Biodiversity Strategy must establish concrete actions for the conservation of plant and animal genetic resources, in order to feed the world,” said Guevara.

    Costa Rica, although a small Central American country of 4.5 million people, is home to 4.5% of the known biodiversity on the planet and maintains 30% of its territory under protection in national parks and biological reserves. EFE

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
    San Jose Costa Rica

    Resonance Costa Rica
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