In the framework of the World Environment Day, the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, signed a law that guarantees access to water as a basic human right. In addition to being an essential and inalienable natural resource for humanity.
The Costa Rican leader stated: “The signing of this law occurs in a context of national emergency (by COVID-19), placing the health of people ahead of any interest. Today Costa Rica assumes this right as its own and through the Political Constitution ”. He also added “I thank the Legislative Assembly for having approved this historical law.”
This important law highlights that this vital liquid is a human right. In addition, it establishes that water is a common good of the Nation and that its access is a basic, inalienable and essential right for life, which is why the supply for the consumption of people must be guaranteed by the State.
A historic decision at a momentous moment
For his part, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Minister of Environment and Energy, congratulated the Costa Rican Congress and its deputies for the approval of this law and “for the historic decision at a critical moment” for the country.
Similarly, Rodríguez commented, “This is a great step and now we must march together towards the next step, which is to reform the framework for the Water law. Faced with a scenario like the one we live due to the Pandemic and before the “close scenarios generated by the shocks of climate change, this is one of the most important issues in the country, water supply and wastewater treatment.”
It is important to note that Costa Rica is a country that has put all its efforts into establishing a Green Economy in favor of environmental care, being a global benchmark, in addition to its fight against climate change.
A law that comes at an important time for the country
Tica deputy Paola Vega, president of the Environment Commission for the Legislative Assembly stated: “There were 20 years of legislative debate, without adding the discussions that communities held for years before this came to the Assembly. What seems like a simple reform to the Constitution, is going to change lives because if this reform was necessary 30 years ago, today with the climate change scenario that the world is experiencing and the post-COVID-19 scenario, it becomes totally indisputable.”
The amendment to the paragraph to Article 50 of the Political Constitution reads as follows:
“Every person has the basic and inalienable human right of access to drinking water, as an essential necessity for life. Water is a Good of the Nation, it is essential to protect such a human right. Its use, protection, sustainability, conservation, and exploitation will be governed by the provisions of the law that will be created for these purposes, and the supply of drinking water for consumption by individuals and populations will have top priority.”
It is worth mentioning that the said law was signed in the Tapantí–Macizo de la Muerte National Park, a site that has the presence of more than 150 rivers. In addition to being one of the rainiest places in Costa Rica.