Legal and regulatory framework
Progress has been made in both countries toward
defining a legal framework for work in national and international
environmental management regimes. Creation of the Ministry of Environment
and Energy (MINAE) in Costa Rica, and the Ministry of Environment
and Natural Resources (MARENA) in Nicaragua are positive developments.
However, two limitations remain: (1) institutional and organizational
capacities for environmental management and administration are weak,
and (2) gaps and duplications make successful implementation difficult.
Both countries have numerous institutions that
directly or indirectly have management authority over water, making
boundaries and responsibilities difficult to establish. Existing
constitutional and institutional mandates, laws, and international
agreements should make for a sufficient regulatory framework for
environmental management. Limitations to their successful use are
associated with a lack of the institutional, technical, and organizational
capacity required to enforce compliance with this regulatory framework.
Likewise, instruments that regulate bi-national
relations with respect to borders exist, but instruments for the
joint management of water resources are lacking. Bi-national initiatives
have concentrated on a few agreements regarding specific work such
as the Si-a-Paz (Protected Areas for Peace). A Binational Commission
has been reestablished to deal with border issues of common interest.