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Latino Daily News

Friday September 2, 2011

Opponents of Costa Rican International Airport Say it Could Ruin the Precious Ecosystem

Opponents of Costa Rican International Airport Say it Could Ruin the Precious Ecosystem

Photo: Terraba Sierpe Wetlands in Costa Rica, where international airport is being planned

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Environmental groups are protesting plans to build an international airport in Coast Rica, saying it poses dangers to the diverse ecosystems.

Plans for the airport, which would be located near the Osa Peninsula, have been shaky to say it best since they were first seriously considered in 2006.

Carolina Herrera of the Latin American Advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council says construction and operation of the airport could severely harm the Térraba-Sierpe National Wetland, which it just 3miles from where the airport would sit, and the Osa region overall.

Osa is considered one of the most biologically diverse places remaining in the world, and though Coast Rican President Laura Chinchilla claims that the international airport is “of national importance” and supporters saying it would be a “green” airport, opponents point out that it takes just one mistake to ruin the area’s diverse ecosystem, and with “few rules, limited government resources and little planning or control could readily lead to the same negative effects seen in Guanacaste Province,” wrote the Center for Responsible Travel.

Opponents point to the expansion of the airport in Guanacaste and how it failed to reduce poverty and create jobs as anticipated.

The New York Times wrote:

Guanacaste expanded its local airport to an international terminal in 2002. Studies of the area have tied this expansion to social instability from a rapid influx of international real estate investment and an overgrown luxury resort industry. Many of the new jobs created — an oft-cited benefit of development — have gone to people from outside the region. Additionally, the cost of living in Guanacaste has risen, while wages for many have not kept pace.

“Costa Ricans describe ecological damages in Guanacste through their nickname for the residential and commercial development that has taken hold: desarrollo hormiga, or “ant development.”

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