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HomeCosta RicaIllegal Logging: The Critical Situation Threatening Costa Rica's Environment

Illegal Logging: The Critical Situation Threatening Costa Rica’s Environment

Illegal logging poses a threat to the preservation of the environment in various regions of Costa Rica, including the Northern Zone, the Southern Pacific, and Limón, which have already been identified as areas where this practice has expanded.

The Environmental Prosecutor’s Office describes the situation as critical. Data shows an increase in the number of reports of this crime, as confirmed by the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC).

The problem of increased illegal logging is attributed to the expansion of monoculture plantations.

“Infringements to the Forestry Law are number one in the list of complaints in SINAC’s platform and the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Logging is done to promote pineapple, palm, banana, cultivation and even drug trafficking,” explained Luis Diego Hernández, coordinating prosecutor of the Environmental Deputy Prosecutor’s Office.

Over the last few years, environmental organizations have denounced the agricultural expansion of monocultures. This has caused conflict, as the activity occurs in areas bordering Protected Wildlife Areas and wetlands.

“We have identified certain areas as having the highest incidence, such as Limón, specifically Pocococí, and Talamanca; the Northern Zone, such as Upala, Los Chiles, San Carlos; and the Southern Pacific, Buenos Aires,” added Silvia Solís, prosecutor of the Environmental Deputy Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the latest study by Monitoring Land Use and Land Cover Change in Productive Landscapes (MOCUPP), between 2015 and 2019, Costa Rica lost 1,200 hectares of tree coverage due to pineapple farming activity.

Organizations such as “Bloque Verde” have questioned why the country is highlighting new initiatives for productive agro-landscapes in international forums when the country’s reality is quite different.

“The Costa Rican government’s announcement at COP27 makes no sense and lacks veracity. It aims to create climate finance mechanisms for agribusiness based on lies and are grouped in a larger category called false solutions to climate change,” claimed the environmental group.

Environmentalists want the government and institutions to focus on solving the problems faced by protected areas. Forests are essential, and the lack of tree coverage would intensify the impact of climatic change.

Resources must be allocated to stop illegal logging, the opening of trails, the entry of machinery, logging during closed periods, and other unlawful activities that threaten to destroy Costa Rica’s natural heritage.

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