La Amistad Caribe Conservation Area (ACLAC)



La Amistad Caribe Conservation Area is an administratively defined territorial unity of the National System of Conservation Areas of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAET), comprising the territories of the cantons of Siquirres, Matina, Limón and Talamanca, covering most of the Talamanca Mountain Range, Limon province and part of Turrialba in the province of Cartago. Its creation was by Executive Decree 17 March 1994, also responds to the provisions of the Biodiversity Law of Costa Rica, number 7788, and is one of the eleven Conservation Areas in which is divided the country.

This conservation area has the following vision: biodiversity is preserved, handled and used in a sustainable manner, promoting decentralization of responsibilities to the organizations of civil society, ensuring access and equitable use of natural resources by local people. On this basis, they have been consolidated structures for citizen participation as new models of environmental management; CORAC and local councils that guide us to define an administrative scheme in terms of natural conditions and characteristics of the resource, not as traditionally done using only the criteria of convenience of administration.

ACLAC extension is 620,967.72 hectares of land, which corresponds to 12% of the country, with 26,386 marine hectares, with a population of approximately 350,000. The whole territory, about 247.016 hectares which includes the marine area of the Conservation Area and about 208,000 hectares, correspons to 8 Indigenous Territories, which are the Bribri and Cabécares for a total of 33% of the territory of the Conservation Area.

72% of the territory of the Amistad Caribe Conservation Area, is under forest cover, which makes it the Conservation Area with the best index of ecological integrity.

Costa Rica has been recognized worldwide for its efforts to protect biodiversity and several places have been distinguished by their incalculable value to humanity, and therefore, some regions have been classified as biosphere reserves, natural World Heritage places and as Ramsar site. In the case of La Amistad Caribe Conservation Area, it has: Biosphere Reserve, La Amistad Biosphere Reserve, La Amistad International Park, which holds the title of World Natural Heritage named Talamanca Mountain Range – La Amistad and Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge ranking as a Wetland of International Importance (RAMSAR site). This protected wildlife area is the only border that adjoins casually with RAMSAR site Refugio San San Pond Sac of the Republic of Panama.