Green Costa Rica Pushes to Protect Rivers and Seas

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    San Jose – While it is recognized worldwide for its natural resources and green policies, Costa Rica maintains the longstanding debt to the environmental protection of rivers and seas, which expects to begin paying off with the creation of a deputy minister said one environmental source.

    With nearly 30% of its territory protected in national parks and biological reserves hearth and home of 4.5% of the planet’s biodiversity, Costa Rica also has a shameful record of having one of the most polluted rivers in Central America, the Tárcoles.

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    The Tárcoles empties into the Pacific the country and includes many of the waters of the rivers of the greater metropolitan area, home to half of the population of Costa Rica, where many of these people throw their solid waste and sewage into rivers.

    Official data and NGOs note that affluents discharged near the Tarcoles 3200 liters of sewage per second and are collected annually about 4,500 tons of garbage, but a lot comes down to its mouth.

    An investigation by the National University warned in late 2011 that 13 of 18 samples taken from rivers in the metropolitan area of high contamination yielded results that could endanger human life.

    In many of these waste streams is abundant, which is apparent in the mouth of the Tarcoles River, where you can see large amounts of plastics, which contrasts with the natural beauty of the area and its biodiversity.

    “The protection of seas, rivers and wetlands is the largest debt we have in the country on par with waste policy. Such are moles of our environmental policy,” said EFE Bernardo Aguilar, executive director of the Neotrópica Foundation, dedicated to promoting the responsible use and conservation of natural resources.

    According to Aguilar, global indices to Costa Rica located in good positions in the preservation of seas, but in his opinion this means “how bad is the rest of the world” and “does not prove that we have a successful environmental policy at the level we would have it” .

    The Costa Rican government has acknowledged that one of his greatest challenges is to combat pollution of the rivers and increase protection of the seas, for which it created the Vice Ministry of Waters and Seas, under the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

    This office will begin operations in September in order to “turn their eyes towards the sea” and “take better care of our waters,” according to José Lino Chaves after being appointed to the post of deputy minister in June.
    For Aguilar, the creation of this deputy minister is a “positive step”, but said that the protection of rivers like the Tárcoles, involves not only the government, but must include action most of the communities, their residents and municipalities.

    He said there is no “magic bullet” to solve the problem and you should begin by looking for a change of consciousness in the population not to throw garbage into rivers and to get used to recycle.

    Another solution, according to Aguilar, is to create “urban corridors” to reforest the watersheds of the rivers in the country’s cities, coupled with increased vigilance of the municipalities and the installation of sewage treatment plants.


    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
    San Jose Costa Rica

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