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Latino Daily News

Saturday March 22, 2014

REPORT: 30 Percent of Costa Rica Ecosystems Threatened

REPORT: 30 Percent of Costa Rica Ecosystems Threatened

Photo: Costa Rica

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Some 30 percent of Costa Rica’s ecosystems are under threat and require action being taken to avoid a critical reduction of environmental elements vital for human life, a newly released study says.

The “Red List of Ecosytems” report prepared by experts of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, and Costa Rica’s Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), was presented Thursday at the 4th Mesoamerican Protected Areas Congress, which ends Friday in Costa Rica.

As the director of the Latin American Chair of Protected Areas and Biological Corridors of CATIE, Bernal Herrera, told Efe, the biggest threat to Costa Rican ecosystems has been the development model by which other activities like farming, establishing infrastructure, construction and others have taken over many woodland areas.

According to the expert, among the most endangered ecosystems are the forests of the Caribbean area of Tortuguero, the plains of San Carlos in the north, and the woodlands of the Osa Peninsula and surrounding areas in the southern part of the Central American nation.

For those who prepared the study, the next step will be to make a series of recommendations that will allow the negative effects of current land use to be halted or reversed, Herrera said, adding that every affected area should be treated locally, involving the communities so that they are the ones to propose how their impact on the environment can be reversed.

This Central American country of 51,100 sq. kilometers (19,730 sq. miles), which has 4.5 percent of world biodiversity, maintains about 30 percent of its territory as protected areas and its tropical forests cover 50 percent of the land.

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