New Report Cites Hotel As Environmental Culprit

December 4, 2009

An inspection by the National System of Conservation Area (SINAC) regional office in Tempisque confirmed that thousands of square meters of vegetation were illegally removed from the shoreline in front of the recently opened Hotel Riu in Matapalo de Sardinal in the northwest province of Guanacaste.

According to the inspection, 8,220 square meters of mangrove trees that existed before construction of the hotel began are gone. Costa Rican law prohibits the removal of mangrove trees.

The inspection also revealed that an additional 6,800 square meters of vegetation was eliminated within the 50-meter pubic zone, where construction or alteration of natural resources of any kind is illegal.

Inspectors found dozens of exotic plants that had been introduced in the public zone, which also is illegal, and noticed damage to a nearby stream.

José Miguel Valverde, of SINAC’s Tempisque office, said a report will be presented, probably next week, to the head of SINAC and to the Environment Tribunal.

The Confraternity of Guanacaste, an environmental group, in late October filed an injunction against Hotel Riu for allegedly cutting down mangrove trees during construction of the 701-room resort (TT Nov. 13). The case will be reviewed by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV).

The group claims to have photos and eyewitness accounts of construction crews working in the middle of the night to clear mangroves and other vegetation within the public zone.

The Environment Tribunal will review the inspection report and photos to determine if Hotel Riu should be penalized for illegally tampering with the public zone.

The environemental group said it will present the report to the Sala IV as further evidence of their claims.

Hotel Riu’s legal representative, Roberto Echeverría, told The Tico Times last month that the company complied with all required construction permits. Regarding the mangrove trees, he said, “There are no permits to destroy mangroves. That is a question you will have to ask the hotel.”

–Mike McDonald

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Navas plays, Real Madrid falls 2-0 in what could be Tico goalkeeper’s final game
Keylor Navas
19 views
Keylor Navas
19 views

Navas plays, Real Madrid falls 2-0 in what could be Tico goalkeeper’s final game

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 19, 2019

Real Madrid closed its season with a 2-0 home defeat to Real Betis on Sunday in what was likely Keylor…

Slothy Sunday: For the love of sloths
Animal welfare
41 views
Animal welfare
41 views

Slothy Sunday: For the love of sloths

Denise Gillen / Toucan Rescue Ranch - May 19, 2019

There are thousands of cute sloth photos floating around the internet, and we all love to ooh and aah over…

Morning-after pill can now be sold without a prescription in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
90 views
Costa Rica
90 views

Morning-after pill can now be sold without a prescription in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 18, 2019

Levonorgestrel, marketed commercially as "Plan B" and commonly known as the morning-after pill, can legally be sold without a prescription…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!