In the nineties a village in Costa Rica was populated by dreams of a promising future driven by the exploitation of a gold mine. Today there are only 27 inhabitants, left without hope.
An article on Nacion.com reports on the ups and downs of the gold mine project in Crucitas, in Costa Rica, which eventually fell through because environmental forces prevailed over sustainable development, leaving a long series of damages to the country in terms of confidence in the security of investments, tax losses, and mainly in the hopes of human beings who believed in and supported the mine being a catalyst for progress in the area. As usually happens, the only winners were the lawyers who litigated and continue litigating for both sides.
On April 24 in Guatemala City an event will be held on the implications of environmental legislation in manufacturing.
From a statement issued by the Guatemalan Exporters Association (AGEXPORT):
The Plastics Commission at AGEXPORT and Guatemalan Plastics Commission (COGUAPLAST) will be holing, on April 24, 2015, a course on "Interpretation of important environmental regulations for the manufacturing industry."
The National Assembly approved on its third reading the creation of the Ministry of Environment, which will be responsible for the environmental monitoring of development projects running in the country.
Guatemalan Entrepreneurs are asking for the consultations with communities about the environmental impact of mining and infrastructure projects to be regulated.
The Guatemalan Chamber of Industry (CIG) and the Union of Extractive Companies (GEE) has proposed the creation of a regulation governing community consultations, believing that these should be one more indicator in the approval process, and should not be binding in nature.
The National Assembly has adopted the Law on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity, which strengthens environmental regulations.
A statement from the National Assembly reads:
The plenary of the National Assembly approved this Sept. 5, the Law of Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity, which aims to strengthen the legal framework for environmental issues and ensure better control of natural resources.
The Costa Rica Environmental Court has ordered the closure of the BES Free Zone in the province of Alajuela, where 40 companies are located, employing 2,500 people.
The Environmental Administrative Court has ordered the industrial park to close indefinitely, considering that its wastewater oxidation pond has contaminated Siquires the river, which contains fish such as ‘barbudos’, sea bass, silver sardines and guapotes.
The project aims to relieve the negative environmental and social impact of pineapple production in Costa Rica, while increasing its positive impact and distribution.
The objective of the project "National Platform of Production and Commerce of Pineapples in Costa Rica" is to generate a model and a strategy of responsible production and trade of pineapples, managed and supported by the active participation of all sectors and institutions involved.
An investigation by The Guardian reported environmental damage from extensive use of fungicides and other agrochemicals.
The report states conditions of high humidity in the Atlantic region of Costa Rica, in whose plains lie major pineapple plantations, allows the emergence of diseases which must be fought with much greater quantities of chemicals than needed in other plantations with less humidity and windier.
The new environmental regulations will produce great legal confidence and will speed up investment in the country.
The Secretariat of Natural Resources and the Environment (SERNA) along with the private sector began updating the Regulations for the Environmental Impact Evaluation System, the legal instrument used to regulate environmental licenses granted in the country.
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