A request for 107 hectares on Isla de Cañas

The Ministry of Environment is currently reviewing a request for the concession of 107 hectares in the Wildlife Refuge of Isla de Cañas and will hold a public consultation in Los Santos on November 14th, 2017.

Los Mosqueteros de Cañas, S.A., the company seeking to build on the reserve land is chaired by Mery Troya del Cid who is also director of Human Resources of the Ministry of Government. 

The request which is for the construction of 36 tourist cabins has been questioned by some environmental organizations, who are concerned it will affect the wildlife reserve, specifically the sea turtles that nest in the area. La Prensa wrote “activists such as Susana Serracín and Harley Mitchell Jr. agreed that there might be a conflict of interest in which an official is requesting a concession from the State, especially if it is located in a protected area such as Isla de Cañas”.

After learning about the request, environmentalists from the Azuero also expressed their dissatisfaction with the request for a partial concession on Isla de Cañas, as it is considered to be one of the “most important" sea turtle spawning sites in the American Pacific. 

Emilio Sempris , Minister of Environment, explained that the public consultation “seeks the community to pronounce on the matter and that all concerns should be addressed within the public consultation process.”   That public forum will take place in Los Santos, specifically at the Isla de Cañas General Basic Center, at 6:00 pm. 

About Isla de Cañas Wildlife Refuge

Isla de Cañas Wildlife Refuge, located in the district of Tonosí, was created through Municipal Agreement 11, of the Municipal Council of Tonosí of April 21, 1993. 

The protected area is a nesting site for five species of marine turtles - olive ridley, hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback and green turtle. Isla de Cañas Wildlife Refuge is made up of 832 terrestrial hectares and 23 thousand 451 marine hectares, adding a total of 24 thousand 284 hectares.

Isla de Cañas Wildlife Refuge has 13km of beachfront that is made up of a dark gray sand, with a high content of iron and magnesium and mangrove forests inhabit the north end of the refuge.