OAS signs agreement for Nicaragua-Costa Rica border zone development


October 19, 1998

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) today signed an agreement under which the Nicaragua-Costa Rica frontier region would be developed in an environmentally friendly way, through a bi-national project.

Ambassador Christopher R. Thomas, the OAS assistant secretary general, signed the Integrated Watershed and Coastal Zone Management of the San Juan River Basin on the Costa Rica-Nicaragua Border, hailing it as a "very significant event for the future of hemispheric cooperation on the preservation and sustainable use of the environment." He said the plan "holds great potential for the future environmental, economic, political and social stability of the entire sub-region."

Nicaragua’s permanent representative to the OAS, Ambassador Felipe Rodríguez Chávez, and Costa Rica’s permanent representative, Ambassador Hernán Castro, also signed the documents.

Ambassador Castro noted that "under this agreement involving the Organization of American States, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and GEF, institutional strategies will be drawn up for better management and sustainable development of what he said was "the most important watershed in the Central American Isthmus."

The Nicaraguan ambassador expressed gratitude for the project which, noting it reaffirmed the solid bonds of friendship and brotherhood that exist between the two countries.

The signing brings on stream the second phase of the project which had its origins at a November 1993 meeting in Washington, where the vice presidents of the Central American countries put a request to the government and donor agency officials for assistance to finance the project execution.

Acting director of the OAS Unit for Sustainable Development, Mr. Jorge Rucks, and Mr. Rohit Khanna, GEF liaison at UNEP, were among others officials speaking at the signing for the project.