The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – This year, Costa Rica will start using $20 million in credit granted in 2006 by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to strengthen the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), official sources said today.

The $20 million will be invested in the construction of trails in Tortuguero (Caribbean) and Manuel Antonio (Central Pacific) National Park, as well as a for dock in the Wildlife Refuge Caño Black (north) and for road improvements to the National Park Rincon de la Vieja (northwest).

The funds, approved by the IDB since 2006 but only this year endorsed by the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly, will also be used to train and hire new local ecotourism guides, said the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE).

The loan is for 20 years with a grace period of 5 years and an adjustable rate.

The project will begin this year and will be completed in October 2016, according to projections from MINAE.

“Today we are beginning work to improve ecotourism in remote rural areas with local governments that wish to promote responsible tourism in their communities, generate jobs and help in the conservation effort,” said Costa Rican Minister of Environment and Energy, Rene Castro.

Costa Rica, a country of 4.7 million people, has protected about 30% of its territory and is home to 4.5% of all global biodiversity, which constitutes one of its main tourist attractions.

Each year the Central American country receives at least 2.1 million foreign tourists. (EFE)

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose Costa Rica