The Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) and the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) announced the launch of the 2021 edition of the campaign “A summer without forest fires”, with Toño Pizote as the central character, whose objective is to reinforce prevention efforts in this dry season.
This year, the initiative has the support of the Canadian government, which also donated equipment and materials to help SINAC’s Fire Management Programme and forest firefighters to work more efficiently and safely.
The campaign will be present through radio and television spots with national coverage, social networks and the website www.veranosinincendios.com.
The executive director of SINAC, Rafael Gutiérrez, indicated that through a series of dissemination and communication actions at the national level, the aim is to make the population aware of the damage and effects caused by forest fires.
“We are asking for help to bring the prevention message to all citizens. It is for this task that the materials of this campaign were generated. We still have March and April, which are the two strongest months of the fire season, where a simple carelessness or inappropriate action can have serious consequences,” he added.
For his part, the coordinator of SINAC’s Fire Management Programme, Luis Diego Román, indicated that the campaign “will be complemented with dissemination and training work with the inhabitants located in the areas with the highest incidence of forest fires, by means of home visits and roadblocks, where stickers, brochures and flyers will be handed out”.
In defence of our natural heritage. The 2021 edition of “Summer without forest fires” warns that illegal burning and climate change threaten to turn natural heritage into smoke and ashes, so we must all work together to prevent fires and preserve our natural treasures.
Deputy Environment Minister Franklin Paniagua stressed that forest fires are one of the main contributors to carbon emissions worldwide, particularly in tropical areas of countries such as Colombia, Brazil and Peru.
“Central America also suffers from this disease. However, Costa Rica distinguishes itself and separates itself from this pattern by having an incidence that is reduced year after year, thanks to the effort and work of the SINAC forest firefighting team in particular, which has the support of MINAE and for 2021 we are grateful for the support of Canada,” Paniagua said.
James Hill, Canada’s Ambassador to Costa Rica, said that “Canada is committed to protecting the environment and to cooperation between countries in the fight against climate change. The increase in the frequency and intensity of forest fires highlights the enormous risks we face and the need to act with determination and responsibility.
“We are very pleased to support this communication campaign, as well as the donation of equipment and materials that will help SINAC’s Fire Management Programme and forest firefighters to monitor and fight fires more efficiently and safely. On the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Costa Rica and Canada, we look forward to finding new opportunities to continue collaborating on such essential issues as conservation and climate change,” the diplomat stressed.
The authorities of MINAE and SINAC thanked the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives administered by the Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica for supporting the implementation of the campaign in 2021 and the ProParques Association, which carries out the administrative management of the project.
Rocío Echeverri, executive director of ProParques, stressed that it is an honour for the Association to be part of this initiative once again. “ProParques’ raison d’être is to provide practical solutions to specific needs faced by our Protected Wildlife Areas. This public-private partnership allows us to achieve just this goal, to provide forest firefighting officials with the right tools and state-of-the-art technology,” she said.
Through the website www.veranosinincendios.com citizens can download all the materials from this and past campaigns, which are also supported by the institutions that make up the National Commission on Forest Fires (CONIFOR).