Costa Rican environment has been considered by many Environmental NGOs and SINAC as a very fragile and vulnerable. The multiple threats in the last decades as poachers, pollution, illegal deforestation and specially forest fires had affected big areas of protected land and increased the number of species in danger of extinction; very often is the people living close of the National parks the main actors of those threats.
With a land area of only 51.100 km2 (0.03% of the planet’s surface) and 589.000 km2 of territorial waters, Costa Rica is considered to be one of the 20 countries with greatest biodiversity in the world. Its geographic position, its two coasts and its mountainous system, which provides numerous and varied microclimates, are some of the reasons that explain this natural wealth, both in terms of species and ecosystems. The more than 500,000 species that are found in this small country represent 4% of the total species estimated worldwide. Of these 500,000 species, just over 300,000 are insects. The National System of conservation Areas has the mission to protect all this biodiversity but there is lack of capacity to achieve this, a national strategy has been developed to involved different sectors and integrate non-profit organisations such as Raleigh Costa Rica.
The repair and maintenance of trails and the archaeological site, reforestation, signs around the park, and monitoring of wild fauna and flora species, are just some of the activities carried out in the Guayabo National Monument, which was recognized by one of its park rangers, Sergio Guillén.
In this regard, he pointed out that the contribution of the volunteers from Raleigh Costa Rica is of great importance for the country’s conservation areas, in which there are usually very few officials and maintenance is difficult to balance with the rest of the activities that must also be carried out. He also pointed out that specifically in the Guayabo National Monument they have been working since 2008 with Raleigh Costa Rica and this has been a very enriching experience, especially in the cultural exchange, which has benefited both the park officials and the young people who come as volunteers.
If you want to know how to participate in one of our environmental projects, you can get more information on our website: www.raleighcostarica.org