Itâ€™s only taken five years, but additional funding to maintain Costa Ricaâ€™s National Parks has been approved by members of the Asamblea Nacional, the Costa Rican Parliament, on the 27th June. The $19 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (BID) will be spent on infrastructural improvements and the promotion of tourism projects in the protected areas of Costa Rica.
Approved Funding Will Help Maintain Costa Rica National Parks
Receiving more than 2 million tourists in 2010, it is clear that the Costa Rican rainforest is an important asset that the country must strive to protect through the application of sustainable tourism practices. The implementation of
maintenance works and improved facilities for visitors is seen as a significant factor in reducing the Costa Rica tourism industryâ€™s environmental impact.
The Costa Rica National Park system is an important part of the countryâ€™s successful tourism industry. Â Blessed with 5% of the worldâ€™s biodiversity, eco tourists flock to Costa Ricaâ€™s National Parks every year.Â The most visited, Manuel Antonio National Park, has already carried out a series of infrastructural improvements thanks to the collaboration between the local community and government institutions. On its 37th anniversary, Manuel Antonio National Park inaugurated accessible washroom facilities with showers, much to the delight of its visitors.
Planned Works Will Require Environmental Impact Assessment
Giselle Mendez, Director of the National System of Conservation Areas in Costa Rica (SINAC), said that she was happy with the decision of the Members of Parliament and explained that the financing will be used to install footpaths, washrooms, information centers and improve access to Costa Rica National Parks.Â A plan detailing works and the necessity for environmental impact evaluations were also presented prior to the approval of the financing.
Costa Rica National Parks to Receive Funding to Improve Accessibility
The total cost of the works is estimated at a total of $25 million, of which BID will be financing 76%, the remaining 24%, some $6 million will be offset from national resources.
The Minister of Presidency, Carlos Ricardo Benavides, who previously held the position of Minister of Tourism until April 2011, outlined the possibility of investing in areas of Costa Rica that, although appealing to tourists, lack the necessary conditions to receive frequent visitors.