Costa Rica now has four biosphere reserves: La Amistad, Cordillera Volcanica Central, Agua y Paz, and now the Savegre River. Recognised as the fourth Biosphere Reserve, on this Wednesday afternoon, the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) International Coordinating Council recognised as such.
The UNESCO just added 23 new sites to the World Network of Biosphere, as well as 11 reserves extensions, and the rename of other. There was also a request by Bulgaria and the US to remove some of their reserves from the network, the sites withdrawn by the US are;
- Aleutian Islands
- Beaver Creek
- California Coast Ranges
- Carolinian-South Atlantic
- Central Plains
- Coram; Desert
- J. Andrews
- Hubbard Brook
- Konza Prairie Research Natural Area
- Land Between the Lake
- Niwot Ridge; Noatak
- Three Sisters
- Virgin Islands
The biosphere is defined by the UNESCO as follows; “learning places for sustainable development whose aim is to reconcile biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources”; and provides the following description of Savegre River:
“Savegre Biosphere Reserve (Costa Rica)—This site is located on the central Pacific coast, 190 km from the capital, San José. This reserve has high biodiversity value, hosting 20% of the total flora of the country, 54% of its mammals and 59% of its birds. It has approximately 50,000 inhabitants, whose main activities are agriculture and livestock rearing. Crop production is significant in high altitude areas, including plantations of apple, pomegranate, and avocado. During recent years, ecotourism has increased and has become a source of socio-economic growth in the region.”
As we said, the Savegre River just join to another three biosphere reserves;
- La Amistad, recognized as such in 1982;
- the Cordillera Volcánica Central (Central Volcanic Mountain Range) entered in 1988,
- and in 2007 Agua y Paz (Water and Peace, which encompasses the Juan Castro Blanco National Park, the Caño Negro Refuge, four biological corridors and an indigenous community).
Alejandra Loría, the anthropologist from the National Commission for Biodiversity Management, said that the proposal of Savegre River differs from others. Because it includes the catchment area of the river as a whole, from the Cerro de la Muerte (its origin) to the river mouth in the Pacific Ocean, which also includes the marine area of the Manuel Antonio National Park, for a total of 312,914 hectares (marine and terrestrial).
The Costa Rican government is at this point obligated to maintain and protect the conditions and characteristics of this area.