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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Volunteers in Costa Rica Team Up to Shield National Park from Blazes

One hundred volunteers will work over the weekend to create an eight-kilometer protective perimeter that will help defend Barra Honda National Park in Guanacaste from forest fires.

The team, 50% of which is made up of certified forestry brigadistas, will create a firebreak to keep sensitive sectors of the protected area safe. The intervention consists of clearing the ground until the soil is exposed and free of vegetation to minimize the material that could serve as fuel for the flames. When there is no more flora to consume, the fire slows its advance and is extinguished.

The brigade will clear a strip of four meters wide and three meters high. The intervention will take place in Barra Honda National Park because it is the territory with the highest risk of forest fires during this dry season in the Tempisque Conservation Area.

Reserva Conchal, FIFCO’s hospitality division, organized the volunteer day as part of the corporate Climate Action strategy. Of the 100 participating volunteers, 44 are employees of the company. Among them, 14 are part of Reserva Conchal’s Emergency Brigade and are certified by the Fire Management program of the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC).

The other certified volunteers are residents of neighboring communities, both independent and members of the Guanacaste Conservation Area Brigade (ACG), the Tamarindo Coastal Brigade (BRICA), and the Las Delicias Brigade (BRIDENA). Non-brigade volunteers will participate in maintaining the National Park’s visitors’ area, including cleaning the surroundings, varnishing the façade, and painting the facilities.

The volunteer day will be carried out in partnership with the administration of Barra Honda National Park, a part of SINAC; the Santa Cruz Environmental Commission, and community brigades.

With its Climate Action Strategy, Reserva Conchal and FIFCO seek to develop greater resilience to climate change, requiring both the company and communities to adapt, reduce their environmental footprint, and manage their impacts to progress.

As part of this commitment, FIFCO’s volunteer program Elegí Ayudar and Reserva Conchal’s Emergency Brigade have been implementing specific actions for the prevention of fire emergencies in Guanacaste since 2022.

Previous interventions have been carried out in Barra Honda, Santa Rosa, Palo Verde, and Pocosol National Parks.

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