For Alvaro Sagot Rodríguez, lawyer and teacher at the University of Costa Rica, it is false that there is harassment from environmental regulations. “Big businessmen should be required to meet requirements, not to limit them, rather think about the next generations.”
In his opinion, calling environmental legislation in the country “harassment”, a statement made by the Costa Rican Union of Business Chambers and Private Sector Associations (UCCAEP), is “unacceptable”.
A document entitled “Pact for employment” contains a series of demands that, they say, supposingly, “seek economic recovery, but in reality are force to obey environmental regulations without technical or legal grounds that they threaten the protection of the environment.”
Counter-Arguments by Friends of the Earth, Costa Rica
For the lawyer Isaac Rojas, from COECOCEIBA, Friends of the Earth Costa Rica, the UCCAEP requests, “is a clear regression in what the country has advanced, therefore, it could violate fundamental rights of all the people that inhabit this country”.
Rojas, who is also the International Coordinator of the Forest and Biodiversity Program of Friends of the Earth International, insisted, that in environmental matters you cannot go back. “We always have to go forward because we are talking about human rights, which have to do with where are living, with our health and the health of ecosystems with which we relate,” he says. In his opinion, the relaxation of the legislation proposed by UCCAEP is unacceptable.
Thanks to technical and scientific criteria, many communities have managed to back down several of these businesses that would continue to attack rivers, and they have done so both in court and in alliance with the Executive Branch.
Such is the case of the “hydroelectric swarm” that proposed to develop more than 17 dams in the South Zone and that thanks to community organization and the work of groups like Ríos Vivos was stopped. Lawyer Isaac Rojas also warned that the UCCAEP is requesting the opening of the agrochemical business.
On the subject of water …
The UCCAEP requested in its document: “Instruct SENARA so that said institution does not increase irrigation rates by the Arenal – Tempisque Irrigation District.” What for Oscar Alpizar, environmental lawyer, member of the Guanacaste Confraternity: “is not understood how the UCCAEP requests preferential treatment in the cost of water rates for the agro-industrial sector”, “this is immoral”, he adds.