Annual Green Tunnel Clean-up on the northern Inter-American Highway reveals a hidden reality that threatens the protection of wildlife in the ACG.
On May 29, 2018, a group of 87 participants (33 females and 54 males) assisted in the annual clean-up of the Green Tunnel, organized by the Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG). This tunnel is a 13km segment along the Inter-American Highway that separates the protected areas of Santa Rosa National Park and Guanacaste National Park, located between the city of Liberia and the town of Colonia Bolaños. The area is visually identifiable by the luscious forest that borders the highway, most demarcaded during the wet season. This stretch of highway divides the tropical dry forest to the west from the transition forest to the east and the connectivity of the green tunnel is a vital corridor for many species of fauna that live in the area and depend on the flora.
Volunteers and government officials collected, separated and weighed all solid waste to quantify the amount of garbage that can be found in the Green Tunnel. This is an important step for the ACG and the Municipalities of Liberia and La Cruz towards finding a solution for the sustainable protection of Costa Rica’s natural resources. A total of 3924.83kg of human generated solid waste was removed from the shoulder of the highway:
As a result of the intense weather degradation of these items, most of this weight unfortunately could not be salvaged as recyclable goods. However, the goal of the “Green Tunnel Clean-up” is to encourage people to practise an environmental culture that favors the proper management of solid waste and sustainable land-use, in order to minimize environmental impact generated by the thousands of people who travel this road daily.
The ACG is a nature destination that generates substantial revenue within Guanacaste and is actively protecting wildlife species that are susceptible to anthropogenic disturbances. The commission “Quiero Dejar una Huella Verde” would like to remind the public that “my actions count towards a healthy environment” and encourage local community members, tourists and travellers using the Inter-American Highway to bring their waste to recycling centers or designated landfills. Throwing garbage onto the highway is not only aesthetically displeasing, but also presents a danger to vehicles on the road and poses a threat to the health of the wildlife as well as local communities as a result of pollution that leaches into the soil and contaminates important natural resources such as drinking water.
In the province of Guanacaste, there are many resources available to the public to appropriately dispose of waste. If you would like to do your part to reduce your ecological footprint, below are a few resources available in the area:
Municipality of Liberia: Project for the Separation of Reusable Solid Waste.
Moya Brothers Collection Center.
Municipality of La Cruz: La Cruz Recovers
Tel. 2690-5700 / 2690-5738
Collection Center El Jobo, (the contact is offered in the Municipality)
The ACG wishes to extend a special thanks to the AFS agency; the National Insurance Institute (Liberia Headquarters); the Office of Student Promotion UNED Volunteer Program, which included students from the Greater Metropolitan Area and from Guanacaste (Ecological Brigade ACG-UNED of La Cruz, Liberia, Cañas, Santa Cruz and Nicoya); the Researchers of the ACG; Forest Firefighters BRIF (Barra Honda, Conservation Area La Amistad Pacífico, OSA Conservation Area, Guanacaste Conservation Area ); the Municipality of Liberia; and to the various departments of the ACG (PEB, PET, SIG, PPC, Sectors, PMF, EEFH, Direction, Communication, DGA). Without the collaboration of the volunteers and the dedication of government officials, this activity could have never been made possible.
If you would like to contribute to the conservation efforts of the ACG and support the local campaign “Quiero Dejar una Huella Verde”, please visit our website www.acguanacaste.ac.cr for event details or post photos on our Facebook page “https://www.facebook.com/ACG.CR/” to show us actions that reduce your ecological footprint!
Traducido por: MA. Monica S. Myers.