You may have seen references to various plans, commissions, councils, and other bodies in Costa Rican media, including our Facebook posts. Here’s a guide to the plans and the acronyms used to describe them.

PGM: Plan General de Manejo (General Management Plan), a document containing general guidelines for management of public refuges and specific norms in its many regulations; the PGM in Ostional is under development by a commission of technical representatives from SINAC, in which the NCA has taken an active role. NCA is participating through CIMACO.

PR: Plan Regulador, a federally required Regulatory Plan containing the maps and zoning regulations for a canton or its sections. The Plan Regulador for Nosara is being developed by the Nicoya Municipality’s technical commissions and specialized consultants. NCA is collaborating the with Municipality to advance the plan, at present by funding a required hydrogeological study.

CIMACO: Consejo Interinstitucional Asesor del Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Ostional (Interinstitutional Advisory Council for Advice on the Ostional Wildlife Refuge), a local organization of all stakeholders in the Refuge. NCA’s seat on CIMACO gives us a voice and a vote on the management of our beaches.

MINAE: Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (Ministry of Environment and Energy), the executive agency responsible for environmental matters. (Fun fact: Between June 2010 and 2012, MINAE also had responsibility over telecoms and was called MINAET.)

SETENA: Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental (National Environmental Secretariat), the government agency focused on reducing the impacts on productive activities, approving environmental impact studies and related processes.

SENARA: Servicio Nacional de Aguas, Riego y Avenamiento (National Groundwater, Irrigation and Drainage Service), which manages groundwater resources.

SINAC: Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación, the National System of Conservation Areas, manages all protected areas owned by the government. It is attached to MINAE.

UCR: Universidad de Costa Rica, the country’s largest public university, with a program that studies turtle life in Ostional, and supports CIMACO in the administration of the Refuge.

UNA: Universidad Nacional Costa Rica, another of Costa Rica’s five public universities. Researchers from UNA are measuring the amount of carbon sequestered by Nosara’s forests as part of an upcoming carbon credits program.