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    The government of Japan has donated $9 million to Costa Rica for the protection of national parks and protected wild-life areas. The donation was announced by the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) and the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAET) through a press release.

    Both institutions announced that the money will be used for the implementation and funding of the Forest Conservation Program.

    For Juan Carlos Borbon, General Manager of ICT, this important agreement, which had a strong involvement and commitment of the institution, will strengthen efforts to ensure the protection of these protected areas, which represent one of the main attractions for tourists who visit Costa Rica. In addition, the agreement will help preserve the country’s natural heritage for future generations.

    According to data provided by the ICT, last year, around 730,819 tourists who left the country by air said to have engaged in ecotourism activities such as hiking trails (with or without guide), observation of flora and fauna, bird watching, visits to a rural community, and others. In addition, nearly 60 percent of tourists said they had visited a national park, biological reserve or protected area.

    “Tourism must represent the vehicle par excellence for the sustainable development of the country, human well-being and the conservation of our natural resources, so we celebrate this substantial donation by the Japanese Government, which will bring many benefits to our country” , said Borbon.

    The grant will also improve the conditions of several conservation areas and national parks by investing in acquiring new technological resources, primarily for fighting forest fires.

    Bourbon stated that one of the main projects of the Forest Conservation Program is the improvement of services and trails of Manuel Antonio National Park, as well as the construction of the Center for Conservation Education of the park.

    Similarly, part of the funds will be allocated to the Wildlife Refuge Isla San Lucas in order to develop several infrastructures project such as the construction of an information centre, the restoration and improvement of access roads and trails, the building of the park ranger house and the construction of a water treatment plant, among others.

    The Costa Rica News
    San Jose Costa Rica

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