Costa Rica sees tourism's environmental dark side

On a quiet night in February, when winter temperatures plummeted below zero in North America, leatherback sea turtles the size of golf carts lumbered onto this tropical beach to lay their eggs. Yet just a sandy stroll away, in the booming surf town of Tamarindo, runaway tourism development is turning the sea into an open sewer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Water quality tests conducted by the country's Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) over the past year found fecal contamination far above levels considered safe by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Such contradictions are now a part of everyday life here, as this ecohaven the size of West Virginia struggles to deal with a tourism and development surge three times the world average.
"Welcome to the Costa Rica the promoters don't want you to hear about," says Gadi Amit, tireless leader of a local activist group called the Guanacaste Brotherhood Association.

More on this topic

Unified Ecological Certification

February 2012

The United States and the European Union are to accept as valid certification of organic products issued in any of its territories.

From June 1st, 2012, certified organic products in Europe or the U.S. may be sold as such in the other's territory. The agreement announced by the European Commission assumes that a there is a solid foundation for promoting organic agriculture, as the EU and the U.S.

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