(San José, Costa Rica – October 27, 2010)
On October 26 The World Wetland Network awarded the International Grey Globe Award for negligent environmental management to Costa Rica for its failure to protect the Caletas wetland in Nandayure, Guanacaste.  The prize was awarded during the Biological Diversity Convention’s 10th Conference of the Parties in Nagoya, Japan.

Destruction of the Caletas wetland

Over 500 participating international NGOs concerned with wetland protection voted for the winners from a pool of 133 nominated wetlands.  Poor management of the Caletas wetland, in addition to agriculture activities, the construction of drains and roads, fires, pesticide applications, privatization of the area, and general governmental failure to enforce resolutions aimed at stopping the destruction, all contributed to the decision to award the prize to Costa Rica.

The World Wetland Network’s objective is to promote better wetland conservation by drawing attention to instances of lax management by authorities in charge of their protection.  Included in this objective is the Blue Globe Award for outstanding wetland management and the Green Globe Award for fine restoration initiatives.  The country will have an opportunity to improve its ranking during the RAMSAR Convention’s next Conference of the Parties in 2012 in Romania where another round of voting will be held.

“To begin, there need to be injunctions against actions the negatively affect the Caletas wetland, and that the guilty party, in this case Agropecuaria Caletas S.A., pay the $25,000 fine issued by the Environmental Tribunal”, said Miguel Gómez, Pretoma’s campaigns coordinator.  “Furthermore, collaboration between local community members and the area’s NGOs is needed in order to begin the restoration process.”

“Paradoxically, the day before during the same international gathering, Costa Rica received an award recognizing its progressive Biodiversity Law”, said Randall Arauz, president of Pretoma, the Costa Rican organization that nominated the Caletas wetland for the Grey Globe Award.  “This is the perfect time for Costa Rica to show to the world that its laws regarding biodiversity conservation are applicable to every facet of the environment and put itself in a position to win the next Green Globe…or why not a Blue Globe?”

For pictures and video of the Caletas wetland destruction click here
For more information about Pretoma and the Gray Globe Award:
Tel (506) 2241 5227
Fax (506) 2236 6017
email: info@pretoma.org
website: www.pretoma.org

www.worldwetnet.org
chris.rostron@wwt.org.uk

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