Pits stopped

Published: Monday 15 July 2002

Costa Rica seems to be getting serious about safeguarding its vast environmental wealth. The country is banning open pit mining. A decree forbidding such mining was signed by the Costa Rican President, Abel Pacheco. He said that the verdict was aimed at protecting Costa Rica's rich environmental resources. "This is a declaration of peace for nature and the environment. We will accept no more corruption affecting our environment," Pacheco is reported to have said.

The recent move means that all open pit exploration and mining projects awaiting government approval will be halted. However, for now, the ban would be partial. Environment and energy minister Carlos Rodrigues said the ban was imposed in part because authorities have struggled to establish environmental controls on open pit mining. It is always better to prevent such activities, he added.

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