As of today, June 1st, the regulation that regulated construction in the Ostional Refuge buffer zone will no longer be in effect. The Appeals Court accepted a precautionary measure requesting its suspension. Although we are disappointed with the decision, this is only a setback in our legal efforts.
This legal process does not end here. This is just the beginning of a social movement in which the Nosara Civic Association will continue to defend the Ostional Refuge and the heritage of Costa Rica. Although this decision that puts the regulation on pause was accepted, the legal process is not over yet. It could take a year or more to resolve .
At this time we are evaluating with our legal team various possibilities to get the regulation back in force.
This is a time to be more united than ever. If you want to help regulate construction throughout the Ostional Refuge buffer zone, you can do so in the following ways:
- -Share a photo using the hashtag #YoDefiendoOstional.
- -If you are part of an organization and you agree that construction be regulated as the regulation does, send a letter addressed to the Municipality of Nicoya in which you express your support and that the organization wishes to participate as a contributor.
- -From now on, help denounce any construction that puts the Refuge at risk, to the Municipality of Nicoya.
How was the regulation suspended?
In March 2021, the Contentious Administrative Court had already ruled in favor of the construction regulations and had rejected the precautionary measure filed by the company JBR Capital Ventures.
At that time, the Court ruled out in all its extremes the possibility of suspending the regulations. We share verbatim a fragment of the response issued by the court on March 22nd:
“It has been considered that the corporate interest of the plaintiff company cannot undermine the public interest implied in the protection of the species of flora and fauna of the Ostional Refuge, in this particular, the precautionary principle in environmental matters or pro-nature induction must be observed. , to prevent the possible degradation of a biological corridor of various species of fauna ”.
After said resolution, JBR Capital Ventures appealed the precautionary measure and this time the Court did decide to pause the validity of the regulation, without taking into account the possible environmental damage that it could cause.
The Court explained that the regulation could economically affect investors or property owners in the area, despite the lack of evidence.
Once we have the full decision we will share it with you.
Why is it important to defend the regulation?
More than 60 Costa Rican and foreign scientists stated that the regulation is essential to protect the Ostional Refuge – an important site worldwide for the protection of the Olive ridley turtle; this species is on the red list of animals vulnerable to extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The regulation had been approved in February 2020 and was intended to regulate the granting of construction permits for those who want to build in the buffer zone of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge.
The regulation focused on four points: the coverage of the construction, the height of the buildings, the management of wastewater and the control of lighting.
The measures are important because they guarantee the infiltration of rainwater into the soil to ensure the recharge of the aquifers, and they also promote the connectivity of fauna species.
Also, the regulations ensure that the lights of the buildings do not affect the orientation of the turtles that nest in the Refuge.