Crackdown coming on destruction of mangroves

The nation’s environmental court says it will announce a string of cases today that involve the destruction of 400 hectares of mangroves in the province of Puntarenas. That’s nearly 1,000 acres.

The agency, Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo. is part of the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía. and has the power to levy fines and other sanctions.

The Tribunal Ambiental said resolutions and actions taken also would be revealed. The announcement noted that some 95 percent of the species in the gulf of Nicoya depend on mangroves one way or another

José Lino Chavez López is the chief judge of the Tribunal, and he has been aggressive for years in countering destructions on both coasts. He has targeted many developers for intrusions into the mangroves around their projects and also outlined how creeping urbanism has taken over land that once had been mangroves.

The Tribunal did not give a list of sites that will be hailed into environmental court, but it is expected to do so today. Some of the destruction has risen to the level of action in the penal courts.

An important natural resource extends from the Puntarenas estuary to Chomes.

In 2010 the Tribunal cracked down on some violators. Investigators found land invasions by

Burning for agricultural land is rampant

Burning for agricultural land is rampant

squatters, trees being burned to create more agricultural land and even a large backhoe extracting sand from a watercourse.

The mangroves get the outflow from the ríos Aranjuez, Naranjo, Ciruelas, Seco, Guacimal and Lagarto, the Tribunal noted.

In all there are about 2,500 hectares, nearly 6,200 acres, of mangroves. In 2010 the Tribunal said that in the 1970s there was a strip of mangrove about four kilometers wide. That was about 2.5 miles.

Then the strip was between 200 and 500 meters, about 650 to 1,640 feet, the agency said.

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