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Costa Rica green lovers slam Arias for ‘double talk’

June 27, 2008
Costa Rica environmentalists and academics yesterday lambasted the government for what they called continued “double talk” on matters of promoting green practices.
 
Some 25 organizations in a group statement said they are trying to “call national and international attention to the contradiction that exists in discourse by the Costa Rican authorities and the lack of national policy to mitigate the effects of environmental degradation.
 
“This deterioration is worsening despite the laudable discourse of President Oscar Arias’ government in favor of nature and the environment,” the statement said.
 
Costa Rica has won global praise for conservation initiatives such as the Peace with Nature program and setting a goal to make the country carbon neutral by 2021.
 
Environmentalists, however, are arguing that there are serious threats to Costa Rica’s peace with nature, namely tourism and building on land in the country’s prized reserves and shores, near Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean and the Osa Peninsula in the southern Pacific.
 
The groups also cited dozens of plans for new marinas along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, some of which could pose a threat to nearby coral reefs, according to the communiqué.
 
Shark-finning is still a problem, the statement said, as the country has been slow to enforce prohibition particularly at private ports.

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