Oil-free Costa Rica

Recently inaugurated Costa Rican President Dr Abel Pacheco de la Espriella has declared his country free of oil exploration and exploitation and open-pit mining. In his inaugural speech delivered on 8 May 2002, Dr Pacheco de la Espriella announced that his Government would constitutionally enshrine ‘absolute protection for primary forests so that not a single tree there is cut; absolute protection for the aquifers and the rivers; absolute protection for the coral ecosystems, of the mangroves and the wetlands; absolute protection of wild fauna and flora. We will create a legal system so that deforested areas will be reforested with native species and to make clear that we won‘t be an oil enclave... We will compete without destroying nature because, beyond the events of the moment, our rich biodiversity will always be a great wealth and we will preserve it.’

mag cover This article is from the July 2002 issue of New Internationalist.
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