Talamanca Regulatory Plan is Denounced as Threatening the Gandoca Manzanillo Refuge

    Costa Rican Natural Wealth in great danger

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    A press release from the Natural Resources Surveillance Committees (COVIRENAS) and the South Caribbean Green Block denounces that the processing of a Coastal Regulatory Plan (PRCT) in Talamanca de Limón would finish consolidating the destruction of the National Wildlife Refuge GandocaManzanillo (REGAMA), which in recent years has been affected by the commercialization and sale of lots promoted by companies that develop real estate projects.

    The bulletin indicates that the Gandoca – Manzanillo Refuge has a large number of wetlands which are ecosystems considered very important for conservation. But they are also very fragile because everything depends on the quantity and quality of water and these variables are very easily affected by infrastructure development and human action in general.

    Biodiversity in danger

    “In Talamanca there is 2% of the world’s biodiversity, with its reefs, coastal zone, coastal hills of the intermontane valleys and the mountain range. Despite this importance worldwide, the Refuge does not escape the greed of investors, who have sold a large number of lots within this beautiful Caribbean jewel of turquoise waters and golden sands framed by unique coral reefs and an exuberant coastal forest.” points out the document of COVIRENAS and the Green Block.

    According to these organizations, for decades both the Amistad Caribe Conservation Area (ACLAC-SINAC) and the Municipality of Talamanca have granted a large number of land use permits and construction permits in State Natural Heritage, causing enormous territorial chaos and deterioration and destruction of the Refuge.

    Pressure through dark actions to illegally profit

    “As a product of this mismanagement, various corporations have dedicated themselves to the real estate business within this prestigious Refuge, subdividing and fragmenting the place with prices ranging from $120 a square meter to $300 or more. There is a group of corporations, recognized for years of exerting political pressure through dark actions to illegally profit from the PNE, which directly benefit from the approval of this PRCT. One of these developers has already put up for sale at least 70 lots in an area covered with forest and within a wetland where, curiously, this regulatory plan has zoned the area for tourism development,” the statement reveals.

    The complainants indicate that the urban proposals of these corporations would disastrously affect the area, causing and accelerating the destruction of biodiversity and irreversibly impacting the connectivity of existing ecosystems.

    For COVIRENAS and the Green Block, it is important to emphasize that one of the great anomalies of this PRCT is the formation of the Technical Committee for the elaboration of this plan, which has an unbalanced participation in favor of the interests of the private sector against the communal sectors. , mainly considering that two of its members are recognized shareholders of the aforementioned companies.

    In the same way, it is inconceivable how the Municipality intends to zone for urban development despite the fact that the limits of the Refuge have not been delimited, which has generated the promotion of expansion for primarily tourism purposes in forested and wetland areas.
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