Costa Rica launches a National Wetland Programme
At a special ceremony at the Presidential House, the President of Costa Rica and the Minister of Environment and Energy will sign today, 27 July, a Presidential Decree establishing the National Wetlands Programme within that Ministry. The Decree states that Costa Rica, having recently hosted the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention, now has the moral obligation "to provide testimony to the world of the seriousness of our initiatives in favor of the conservation of these important ecosystems [referring to wetlands]".
The Programmes aim is to address all questions related to the conservation and sustainable development of wetlands in Costa Rica. The Programme will be supported by a National Advisory Council on Wetlands whose functions are detailed in the Presidential Decree, and the Council will be presided over by a National Commissioner for Wetlands. Former Minister Orlando Morales has been designated for the post. The Council Membership comprises a number of government agencies and representatives of academia and NGOs.
The Decree establishes that the Programme will work with a Coordination Office in charge of its application. The Programme Office, to be established on the basis of the Ramsar COP7 Coordination Office that was created to prepare the Conference, will operate within the National System of Conservation Areas, but it is expected that other relevant government agencies will provide assistance and support to the Office.