Thursday, November 27, 2008

Huge Tree!

Check out this enormous ceiba found on the property of Finca Pangola, one of the sites of the Costa Rican Bird Route.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Take Action Against Gold-Mining Project in Costa Rica

Please use the following as a sample letter to send the CEO of Infinito Gold, John Morgan, a letter expressing your concern for the risk their gold-mining project poses to the biodiversity of Costa Rica as well as Nicaragua, including the irrevocable damage it will do to the dwindling population of the Great Green Macaw. Personalized, signed letters sent via the normal mail system have the most impact, but you may opt to send an email as well to

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Infinito Gold
1010-1st Street, SW, Suite 220
Calgary, Alberta

Dear Mr. Morgan:

I am writing to voice my opposition to your mining project in Las Crucitas, Costa Rica and urge you to reconsider the long-term environmental, social and health impacts of this type of project.

In northern Costa Rica, in recent decades deforestation has left less than 30% of the original forest standing. This type of destruction has a global effect, diminishing the Earth’s carbon sequestration capabilities. The local effect has been that wildlife populations are in decline, especially that of the Great Green Macaw. It is estimated that less than 200 individual birds remain in this area of Costa Rica, with less than 30 breeding pairs. Therefore, this region cannot sustain the cutting of an additional 191 hectares that your project is proposing.

Costa Rica is a country that has grown and benefited the most from its tourism industry. The tourism industry is the number one contributor to the Gross National Product, a result of its rich biodiversity and its prior track record of being a conservation-minded country. Your gold-mining project threatens this industry by furthering deforestation; risking the water quality of a major source of livelihood, the San Juan River; and in general by sullying the reputation that Costa Rica has worked hard for in being a conservation leader. This is an age of eco-travel, where people are becoming more conscious of the impact they have through their travel choices. Your project would deliver a major blow to the economy of Costa Rica, and would continue to do so years after the project would be completed and your company has moved on.

I strongly urge you to re-consider the ethics of this open-pit gold mine, and consider more than just the short-term benefits of increased infrastructure. With the current climate issue, we all must look to new and innovative strategies to sustain our economy.


[Your Name]

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

EU's sustainable biofuels push angers Malaysia, Brazil

As we work to wean ourselves off of oil by increasing production of biofuels, it is important we make sure it is on a environmentally sustainable basis. This piece from, highlights the European Union's latest position on biofuels.

Eight developing countries threatened to file a World Trade Organization complaint against the E.U. for its proposed legislation to require imported biofuels to meet environmental standards, reports Reuters. Read more...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gold Mining Project Proposed in Great Green Macaw Habitat

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias is supporting a gold mining project in northern Costa Rica in the town of Las Crucitas, a project that will deforest 191 hectares of prime habitat (including habitat for the endangered Great Green Macaw), and threaten the water quality of the San Juan River.

The approval of this project would undermind the recent law passed that banned the cutting and exploitation of the Mountain Almond Tree (See post from September 20, "Almendro is Protected").

Yesterday hundreds of Costa Ricans and a delegation of Nicaraguans marched in protest of this proposed project in Ciudad Quesada-San Carlos in the northern region of the country.

For Spanish-speakers, read the full article about the protest here:

Keeping checking back for more updates on this situation.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lonely Planet 2009

It's official...the Costa Rican Bird Route has been included as a destination in the 2009 edition of the Lonely Planet Guide to Costa Rica! The project has its own box in the Caribbean Lowland section of the book, in which it describes the motivation of the project as well as how to access the Bird Route. We are very excited to begin booking more tours to the Bird Route in this coming year!