CAVU Flights Key In Stopping the Assault On Osa’s Fila Costena

By October 30, 2008Archive

Through our partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), CAVU has been providing overflights in support of the commitment to control unsustainable development in the Osa.

Targeted overflights with CAVU have been used by TNC, the Environmental Tribunal(TAA) and the Osa Conservation area (ACOSA) managers to identify and document unsustainable, and often illegal, development projects in the Fila Costena.

On October 20 and 21, a series of flights provided by CAVU, gave Minister of the Environment Roberto Dobles, judges from the Environmental Tribunal , and members of the press a newfound understanding of the size and scope of the development in the Fila.

From above, negative environmental impacts are clearly seen. Roads are being cut through primary forest while rivers and community water sources are being choked by erosion caused by clearing on nearly vertical slopes.

Through the use of GPS technology and photography, projects of greatest concern were positively identified from the air, giving the land managers of the Osa Conservation Area, Environmental Minister Dobles and the Environmental Tribunal the necessary information to effectively carry out the ground sweeps.

Follow up visits uncovered many projects that lacked the proper construction permits altogether while others were far exceeding the terms of their permits. One such real estate developer requested a construction permit to built a 400 square meter hotel- investigators found more than 4,000 square meters was actually being constructed.

As a result of the sweeps by the Environmental Tribunal, more than fourteen residential and hotel projects were ordered to halt construction and many more remain under investigation.

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