The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Illegal gold mining has become a major threat to the Corcovado National Park, in the South Pacific Costa Rica, the largest primary forest biodiversity of Costa Rica, home to the 3% of the world’s species, reported the local press.
An investigation by the newspaper La Nacion revealed that more than 250 people take artisanal gold on the banks of the rivers within the National Park of 45,700 hectares.
These improvised miners dig tunnels up to 40 meters in length or destroy mountainsides in a work called “terracing” and with destroying one of the richest places in flora and fauna worldwide.
There is 3% of the planet’s biodiversity and 50% of Costa Rica species in Corcovado, say officials of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae).
The incentive for this illegal activity is the relative ease of obtaining gold, its high price and lack of human and financial resources from the state to stop the destruction of the park, and Coravado only has 32 rangers available.
For this reason police are also on patrols. Environmental officials have been faced with threats of armed people who extract the gold.
According to La Nacion, it is very difficult to find makeshift these miners.
Last May, in an operation between rangers and police officials arrested 16 people, but they were released the next day, as gold mining was not a crime under Costa Rican law.
Three weeks ago this changed and now the authorities are confident they can get more control to the situation.
It is estimated that these 16 persons arrested in May removed material cubic 15,600 meters and the area affected by this group is 9.6 square kilometers, the site to which National Geographic called “the world’s most bio intense places, on earth”. EFE
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica