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Costa Rican NGO's Denounce Government's Irresponsible Attitude Towards Marine Conservation News Service
October 5, 2015 21:50 EST

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Stemming from the recent blockades of public highways by the fishery sector last September 2, the government agreed to a series of reckless, illegal, and unconstitutional agreements with certain members of the sector. The agreements and commitments were communicated to the environmental groups after a formal request to Mr. Serio Alfaro, Minister of the Presidency, last September 7.

As organizations of the civil society, we are deeply concerned about these agreements, which according to our understanding imply:

The NGO sector considers that the agreements represent a setback to marine conservation and to the coastal communities that depend on the health of the seas. "The conduct of the current authorities and their advisors is not only irresponsible, it lacks technical foundation and occurs at the margin of current legislation. A setback of such magnitude damages our country's image, as it contradicts our image of a conservation minded country" warned Randall Arauz, of Pretoma.

According to the NGO sector, the government is favoring private interests over environmental public interest, putting the subsistence of thousands of fishers and the conservation of our country´s marine fishery resources at risk. "We were quite surprised when we learned of the agreements reached by the environmental and fisheries authorities with respect to the disposition of public domain goods by private interests. These commitments are contrary to the best scientific evidence, the precautionary principle, as well as the general international consensus regarding the management of sharks", concluded Marco Quesada, of Conservation International.

We consider it our responsibility as a relevant part of the Costa Rican society to inform the national community when any sector, interest group, or the government itself, acts against the sustainability of our nation's natural resources, marine or terrestial, and which in this case directly affect future national food security.