An official source informed the press yesterday that Japan has donated $9 Million to Costa Rica, intended for national park protection and forest fire prevention. The Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) and Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAET) announced in a communication and confirmed that the donation “will be utilized for the protection of national parks and protected wild-land areas.
The bulletin stated that, “aside from bettering the condition of different conservation areas and national parks, the money will be used for the purchase of cutting-edge equipment, mainly for the use of forest fire fighting.”
The wild-land refuge of Isla San Lucas is also on the list for some of the money’s destination. Part of the donation will go towards environmental education, the building of a new information center and among other infrastructural needs, the restoration of trails and access points.
Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific Ocean, is one of the most visited national reserves in the country. The park will benefit as well from this donation by the investment of new trail construction and better tourist services.
With over 500,000 different species, Costa Rica is home to around 4.5% of the world’s biodiversity. 30% of the country is protected by national parks or other distinct protected zones.
“Tourism should represent the vehicle of choice for the country’s sustainable development, human welfare and conservation of our natural resources. So we celebrate this substantial donation by the Japanese government,” said the general manager of ICT Juan Carlos Borbón.
Last year, Costa Rica’s tourism rose 4.6% from 2.1 million visitors in 2010 to 2.9 million in 2011. This is the highest touristic figure in the history of the nation, according to the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT). Though many local business owners disagree with these statistics provided, claiming that the ICT is cooking them to inflate numbers.
Source: LA Informacion