Summer in Guanacaste

Written by Mónika Naranjo González, audiovisual producer

About Costa Rica and the environment, Costa Rica and its oceans, Costa Rica its management of marine and coastal resources there is much to be said.

But it seems impossible to start without clarifying certain concepts: to be against illegal fishing is not to be against the fishermen. To be in favor of environmental conservation is not to be against the exploitation of resources. To denounce and disagree with actions of our institutions is not to be against the government.

Yes, it becomes necessary to stress assumptions that should be obvious because our coastal and marine resources are caught in a crossfire that emerges from the bad image of the conservation movement, the inheritance of government institutions that are ineffective to say the least, the lack of tools in the hands of citizens, the overwhelming of the general public in face of the continuous bombardment of bad news.

It is not easy to start a conversation about marine conservation in our country.

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One step towards shark conservation

Written by Marco Quesada, Director Conservation International Costa Rica

Last week, at the meeting of the group of signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks, countries agreed to incorporate 20 marine species including sawfish, stingrays and various species of sharks, within the list the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) seeks to protect.

Protect from what?

Se estima que a nivel global se matan entre 63 y 273 millones de tiburones anualmente.

It is estimated that between 63 and 273 million sharks are killed annually.

From us, men. We ourselves are the threat pushing these species to extinction . If no measures are taken, some of these species could eventually disappear. Continue reading

Why not to reopen trawling in Costa Rica?

So much has happened in Costa Rica on the conservation and exploitation of marine resources front during 2015, that it is easy to get overwhelmed, or at least confused.

Certainly one of the issues that sparked the debate was what our government called National Policy on Sustainable Exploitation of Shrimp. With great fanfare, it was announced that the process involved the participation and support of the fishing sector, government, academia and the environmental sector.

From there things started badly, given that stating that academy, environmentalists, scientists and even large segments of the fishing industry in our country approved an initiative to reopen trawling, is far from the truth.

We will take it slowly: Continue reading

Sustainable development and Social Justice

Mario Peña Chacón,  Coordinator of the Master of Environmental Law at the University of Costa Rica. Member of the Commission on Environmental Law of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). mariopenachacon@gmail.com

Sustainable development?

The concept of sustainable development was born in 1987 in the report entitled “Our Common Future” by the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Report). It was recognized internationally by the United Nations in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in 1992:

“The kind of development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

This means that sustainable development can not exist if we do not think about the future, choosing a way of development and business that do not jeopardize the welfare of our children or grandchildren. Continue reading

Joy that can be appraised

Written by Andrés Beita, marine biologist

Who doesn’t enjoy a short trip over the weekend? Last August I took advantage of both Mother’s Day and dad’s birthday and I went with my family around Caño Island in search of whales.

Each year, between the months of August and October our country is visited by humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) that live in the cold waters of the Southern Hemisphere. They come to mate and give birth to their young in our warm tropical waters.

The anxiety of waiting

We left from Sierpe village, crossing estuaries that took us to the sea while admiring the impressive mangrove forests surrounding the delta of the Sierpe and Térraba rivers, the largest mangrove forest in Central America.

Once at sea, everybody onboard would think they had spotted a whale every time they saw a log floating or even a shadow of the waves. There was great anxiety, we all wanted to know when we would get to see the first whale.

Impresionante Sierpe, Bahía de Drake, Isla del Caño. Foto por Marco Quesada.

The imposing Sierpe, Drake’s Bay, Caño Island. Photo by Marco Quesada.

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