Costa Rica celebrated World Wetlands day, which became a space to share local and regional experiences on costal and terrestrial wetland restoration. High level personalities such as Dr. Musonda Mumba, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention attended the event.
During the activities, Cementos Progreso ratified its partnership with Proparques and the National System of Conservation Areas, by signing a letter of intent. Said letter contained the commitment to continue working for mangrove preservation, contribute to the country’s conservation goals, and promote neighboring community development.
According to Luis Baltodano, Cementos Progreso’s Quality and Environmental Manager, «in Costa Rica, mangroves are ecosystems with very particular characteristics, and their reforestation must be based on scientific evaluations which consider soil density, water studies, ocean current inputs, and soil salinity, among others. For Cementos Progreso, being part of this project is a valuable opportunity. Wetlands are an ecosystem that captures an average of 4 to 5 times more CO2 than other types of forests. Wetlands have become one of the most threatened ecosystems on earth, because their disappearance rate is three times higher than that of forests. It’s become an example of successful public-private synergy which are capable of contributing to the national strategy on climate variability,» said Baltodano.
The partnership between the company and Proparques was signed a year ago. The company has financially, logistically, and through human resources contributed towards mangrove prevention, control, environmental education, reforestation, rehabilitation, and research. Additionally it has collaborated with biodiversity monitoring in the Cipancí National Wildlife Refuge, as well as other areas near its operations.
Throughout different areas of the country, efforts are being to regain mangrove cover. This is done by rehabilitating and conserving the Níspero and San Buenaventura-Colorado wetlands. They are part of the Cipancí National Wildlife Refuge and their areas of influence in the Arenal Tempisque Conservation Area (ACAT); where where 200 hectares of mangrove forest is being restored.
Collaboration will continue by recovering ecosystem services such as breeding sites for fish, bird, mollusk and crab. In addition crab, storm protection, soil stability, sediment retention, hydrological regulation among others. These elements are essential for coastal communities of the Gulf of Nicoya, and have a positive impact on the inhabitants’ economic activities, benefiting cockle pickers and artisanal fishermen associations among others.