San Jose – Environmental Court rules on Nicaragua Costa Rica San Juan River Border Trail Dispute
The Environmental Administrative Tribunal of Costa Rica (TAA) confirmed that border the road built by the Government of President Laura Chinchilla has caused environmental damage in the country, but found no evidence that affected the San Juan River, as denounced by Nicaragua.
The TAA, a few weeks ago sent experts to inspect the 160-kilometer board road that runs parallel to the border. Overcutting confirmed in several sections and that has affected wetlands, water bodies and biological corridors, but all in Costa Rican territory.
According to an official statement, the Court “confirmed damage in Costa Rican territory but found no evidence of sediment transport to the river San Juan”, a topic that has been and still causing strained relations between the two neighboring countries.
The TAA gave the Chinchilla government ten days to develop a Mitigation Plan, Repair and Compensation for damage caused by road construction, and ordered them to calculate the economic damage caused by the work.
“The cutting of trees on the banks of the trail was not rational, limited or proportionate to the end of the road, on the contrary, in some sectors were admitted with heavy equipment to extract timber, mainly almond and other valuable species,” says the technical report of TAA.
Moreover, the Court found that at least seven rivers, streams or creeks damage of various kinds, either by diverting its channel, pipe and obstructing their channels with sediment.
“Other environmental problems found in on of the trail border are that they fortified earthworks, often excessive for the size of the road, the respective works of conservation,” the report said.
The construction of this road is the latest chapter in a series of disputes between Costa Rica and Nicaragua that began in October 2010 when the first accused the second country to invade a part of its territory in the Caribbean.
The Costa Rican government argued that the road was built to increase border security and was issued and covered under an emergency decree. The project has multiple allegations of corruption and mismanagement, as well as proven environmental damage.
Nicaragua claims that the road caused severe damage to the San Juan River border of Nicaraguan, and therefore sued Costa Rica before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
In addition, the Central American Court of Justice (CCJ) condemned Costa Rica this month, but this Costa Rica does not recognize the jurisdiction of the regional body.
The Costa Rica News
San Jose Costa Rica