Legal and regulatory framework
Both countries have made progress in 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 of
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 Bi-national Commission
has been reestablished to deal with border issues of common interest.
Over 200 governmental and non-governmental institutions
are active in the SJRB. The most important of these include, of
course, MINAE, the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica;
MARENA, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Nicaragua;
AA the National Drinking Water and Sewage Service of Costa Rica;
ENACAL, the National Water and Sewage Company of Nicaragua; CNE,
the National Emergency Commission of Costa Rica; INETER, the National
Institute of Territorial Studies of Nicaragua; EBAIS, the Integrated
Health Service of Costa Rica; and SILAIS, the System of Local Integrated
Health of Nicaragua.