RIU creates a National Wildlife Refuge in Guanacaste

Published on : Monday, January 20, 2014

COSTA-RICA_web_tcm55-122471RIU has established a Private National Wildlife Refuge on the plot of land it owns in the coastal Mountain Range of Matapalo, next to the chain’s two hotels in Costa Rica. This protected natural area occupies 200 hectares of land which is of great value for the biodiversity of Guanacaste. Creation of the RIU Refuge was officially announced in Gazette 241 of 13th December 2013, under Executive Decree No. 37993-MINAE

The RIU Refuge contains 250 flora and fauna species. It specifically has 140 plant species, including precious wood trees such as the Mahogany, Cachimbo and Black Laurel trees, in danger of extinction, and 10 orchid species; also over 80 species of resident and migratory birds; some 30 species of mammals (including 12 bat species), and over 10 reptile species, as detailed by biologist Gerardo Barboza Jiménez, who belongs to the Foundation for Balance between Conservation and Development (FUNDECODES) and carried out the field research and the Management Plan.

“For the RIU Hotels chain it was extremely satisfying for the country’s National Conservation Areas System (SINAC) to approve its proposal to create this Refuge with the objective of protecting, preserving and managing the ecosystems it encompasses for a period of 10 years, which may be extended”, pointed out Catalina Alemany, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at RIU Hotels. “Thanks to this important project, RIU has taken one step further in its CSR Plan which contemplates several biodiversity protection projects in the communities where it operates”, she added.

This plot of land forms part of the Chorotega Biological Corridor and, therefore, favours biological connectivity between Protected Wildlife Areas of the country in this region. It is of high environmental, economic and social value, while complying with several national conservation-related objectives, such as scenic interest, biodiversity protection, local balance of water resources and its carbon sink function.

The company hopes to become carbon neutral by 2015 thanks to this function and to the efforts made by RIU to reduce its energy consumption.

RIU’s conservation effort is in line with the conservation objectives of the Costa Rican State through a model of alliances between the private sector and the SINAC. This is an important contribution towards the conservation of Costa Rica’s natural heritage in the Canton of Carrillo.

The main objectives of the Refuge are the protection, conservation and natural restoration of the forest, aquifer recharging, ensuring its function as a biological corridor, avoiding hunting, together with preventing and controlling forest fires as they are the main threat to this environment. A Management Plan was created to attain this, regulating the activities to be carried out so as to achieve the highest level of protection for the area’s natural wealth.
RIU offers its full collaboration to the researchers and civil servants of the SINAC for them to visit the protected area, while the latter provide RIU the advice and collaboration the company requires to ensure the long-term conservation of the ecosystems present in the Refuge.

Source:- RIU Hotel

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