National parks were the center of attention Wednesday as Costa Rica marked the Día de los Parques Nacionales.
Correos de Costa Rica came out with its annual national park stamp. This year the Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas on the Pacific coast is featured as well as the leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) that frequent the park.
The stamps have face values of 1,379 and 2,100 colons. Environmental groups participated in the design.
In another parks-related development, President Luis Guillermo Solís announced a 25 percent pay raise for park rangers and forest fire fighters to compensate for time outside of normal work hours when they have to protect the environment. The increase for those who work
in the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de
Conservación will begin in October, officials said. The executive branch also hopes to create 130 new positions.
The central government also said that about 5 billion colons, about $9.2 million, will be invested in national parks and protected areas.
The money will come from a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.
In the legislature, Frente Amplio presented a bill Wednesday to tax non-returnable plastic bottles and those cardboard containers for other drinks. The sliding scale tax would benefit the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación. The political party said that Costa Rica uses 622 million plastic bottles a year and that only a small percentage is recycled.
The tax would not apply to milk or medicine containers, a summary said.