Costa Rica has invested ¢800 million colones (US$1.4 million dollars) in tourist infrastructure for the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Mixto Caño Negro, a wetland and wildlife protection area located in the north of the country.
According to a statement by Casa Presidencial (Government House) a visitor center was constructed in the refuge, as well as an 18-meter high tower for observing birds, a dock for embarkation and landing of tourists and a raised trail path.
The work is part of the Proyecto de Fortalecimiento del Programa de Turismo Sostenible en Áreas Silvestres Protegidas (BID-Turismo) – the Program of Sustainable Tourism in Protected Wild Areas by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
The (IDB-Tourism in English) project has invested a total of US$25 million through a loan from the IDB for US$19 million and a contribution of US$6 million from the Government through SINAC, the Ministry of Finance and the municipalities oOf the area of influence of the ASPs included in the project...
The investment also included a Management and Use Plan for the municipal piers of the districts of Caño Negro and Los Chiles, and an operational strategy was developed to implement the Municipal Solid Waste Management Plan of the Municipality of Guatuso.
The works were delivered to the community and Guardaparques (park rangers) on Friday by Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis and Ministro de Ambiente y Energía (MINAE) Environment and Energy Minister, Edgar Gutierrez.
Solis said the percentage of execution of the BID loan found at the beginning of his Administration was very low, 5.7%, and his government managed to change that paralysis through the hard work of the MINAE, which will allow a 100% executio. ” This new infrastructure is necessary to revive the local economy, increase tourist visits and provide better working conditions for our park rangers, ” said President Solis.
The Caño Negro Mixed Wildlife Refuge covers 9,969 hectares (24,600 acres), where more than 300 species of birds can be observed, including the northern kingfisher, the blue heron and the reindeer kingfisher.
It Caño Negro Mixed Wildlife Refuge is a declared Ramsar site of international importance, located in the northern part of the province of Alajuela, near the border with Nicaragua, and constitutes, together with some parts of the neighboring country, one of the most outstanding examples of wetlands in Mesoamerica.
The Caño Negro refuge is the last protected wilderness, of the 10 chosen for tourism infrastructure investment and the strengthening of sustainable management. The other ASPs included in the IDB-Tourism Project are the Manuel Antonio, Tortuguero, Rincon de la Vieja, Corcovado, Arenal Volcano, Poás Volcano, Marino Ballena, Irazu and Cahuita Volcano National Parks.