Monday, July 17, 2006

New plan to save Costa Rica's national parks

Eco tourists, Monteverde, Costa Rica. People are attracted by the beauty of the cloud forests, the mountain environment and the rare birds/© P. BubbTwenty per cent of Costa Rica's terrority has been granted 'protected status', yet conservationists worry that biodiversity remains threatened without long-term financial commitment to the country's national parks.

Tourism in Costa Rica is at an all-time high and surveys show that most visitors want to see the country's renowned national parks, home to an eye-opening array of colorful plants and rare wildlife. Yet efforts to secure Costa Rica's protected areas have been blighted by limited human and financial resources, ineffective regulations, neglect of vital ecosystems that lack protected status and failure to involve local people.

In facing these challenges, the government and international conservation groups have joined forces to draw up an ambitious plan to provide long-term funding for Costa Rica's protected areas. The prinicipal aim is to safeguard the country's biodiversity through research, ecotourism and community development.

To read the whole article click here.