Expropriation to protect turtles costs government $4 million

sea turtles

The expropriation of land to protect leatherback turtles that spawn along the coast of Playa Grande, Santa Cruz, Guanacaste, will cost the state about $ 4 million.

This was determined by the Court of Arbitration of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes of the World Bank (ICSID), which rose to the case since 2007.

Unglaube Reinhard, German investor and owner of the land, sued Costa Rica, because it was expropriated a portion of land of 33.5 hectares, located in Playa Grande, near where the Leatherback Marine Park.

René Castro, Minister of Environment and Energy, confirmed that the state should pay the money to restore that land legally.

He added that it is in response to the call made the Comptroller General of the Republic and the Constitutional Court to bring order to the protected area, located in the northern Pacific coast.

There will be a one payment, 40% will come from the income received by the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae) by selling tickets to visitors to national parks, money that remains in a fund.

Meanwhile, the rest of the debt will be covered from the budget of the National System of Conservation Areas (Sinac).

“They are making appropriate modifications to make payments. It will be ready in weeks, “said Castro.

Robert van der Putten, Unglaube legal representative, declared that the litigation started because at some time the state granted permits for work and people invested, but later the authorities changed their discretion and expropriated.

Van der Putten remarked that the claim was for s $ 20 million, however, the Arbitral Tribunal was limited to only calculate damages to date and which are not calculated in the long term.

The legal representative said his client plans to build new buildings in the area until it becomes effective decision-land by the State.

On property owned abroad, there is a hotel room and his house. In addition, there are utilities infrastructure.

The baula is the largest sea turtles and, contrary to the other species, its shell is soft as leather. It is considered endangered, since in the last 20 years its population has declined by over 90%.

Between 1988 and 1989 came to Playa Grande turtles 1504, ten years later only 32 leatherbacks arrived.

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