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HomeTopicsEnvironment and WildlifeCosta Rica Launches Campaign to Prevent Forest Fires

Costa Rica Launches Campaign to Prevent Forest Fires

Costa Rica has launched a campaign to prevent and report forest fires titled “I Protect the Forests.” This initiative underscores the fact that the country boasts over 57% forest coverage but warns that this could change if such fires persist.

The forest fire season typically occurs in the first half of each year, coinciding with the dry season. Areas particularly vulnerable include the Pacific slope and the central valley due to drier conditions, exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon (ENSO) in its hot phase.

Oscar Mora, director of the National Program for Integral Fire Management (PNMIF) within the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), explained that this year, the El Niño phenomenon has led to increased temperatures, decreased humidity, and dry winds that can easily ignite fires, sometimes sparked by individuals inadvertently but with potentially fatal consequences.

Easter holidays also present a critical time, as many tourists visit the Pacific region, and their inadvertent actions could lead to fires. For instance, making bonfires during windy conditions without properly clearing the ground can quickly escalate into uncontrollable fires. Moreover, leaving aluminum or glass debris exposed to the sun can start fires unnoticed until they spread.

“The imperative is to prevent such incidents through our actions and promptly report them to 9-1-1,” emphasized SINAC.

Various entities have joined forces in this campaign, including the National System of Conservation Areas of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (SINAC-MINAE), the REDD+ Project, the advertising agency LaTres, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, Tigo, and Ruta 27 by Globalvia.

“We echo this urgent call to prevent forest fires and mitigate forest degradation, thereby reducing emissions from fires. Costa Rica’s forests and the rich biodiversity they harbor are treasures not only for its citizens but also for the world, serving as a key attraction for tourism,” remarked José Vicente Troya, UNDP resident representative in Costa Rica.

Montserrat Courrau, Director of Communications and CSR at Ruta 27 by Globalvia, underscored the company’s commitment to the campaign, acknowledging that the route is often a hotspot for forest fires.

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