Citizen Action Helps Protect Costa Rica’s Natural Resources
Costa Rica has a wealth of environmental legislation on the books and there are a number of agencies charged with enforcing the law. In practice, these agencies are hard-pressed to adequately cover their assigned areas, and they rely on assistance from concerned citizens who are committed to environmental protection.
Citizens of Costa Rica may file a formal complaint about illegal activities that threaten the environment. These “denuncias,” which are submitted to the appropriate government agency, call attention to activities that may be illegal and require intervention.
ROW prefers to create positive momentum by education, example and incentives. At the same time, there are instances when the only way to address an egregious violation of the law and minimize damage to the ecosystem is by filing a formal complaint with local or national authorities. In the Nandamojo Valley, denuncias have been a powerful tool for stopping mangrove and river corridor tree destruction and for protecting unobstructed access to public beaches.