Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Protecting the Osa Peninsula

(La Nacion) - The Osa Peninsula, in the Costa Rican South Pacific, is a unique place which, in only 160,000 hectares (some 395,355 acres), encompasses 2 percent of the world’s biodiversity and 50 percent of all the species in Costa Rica.

Its forests are home to at least 5,000 species of plants, over 700 species of trees, more than 8,000 species of insects, and 117 of reptiles. Also, there we find 375 species of birds, 124 of mammals, 40 of fresh water fish, and 28 species of dolphins and whales.

In order to protect that wealth, the Osa Campaign was launched in 2003, but it was not until now that the project was made public. It is a joint effort by the Costa Rica-USA Foundation (CRUSA), the Ministry of the Environment and Energy, Conservancy International, and The Nature Conservancy.

The goal is to collect $32.5 million, by the year 2008, to manage conservation and establish a trust. So far, $19 million have been collected and each Costa Rican is expected to donate at least $1, to add another $3.2 million in the coming months.

Several major Costa Rican firms, such as La Nacion, Intel Costa Rica, Holtermann, and Pipasa partake in the non-profit campaign.

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