The Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), through the Environmental Comptroller’s Office, received a total of 5,722 complaints for infractions of environmental law, through the Integrated System for the Processing and Attention of Environmental Complaints (SITADA).
This was reported by the head of this agency, Walter Zavala, who explained that in 2020 85.4% of the cases were attended to (11.2% more than in 2019), of which 3,648 were handled by the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC).
Most citizens reported irregularities in forestry matters (49%) and Alajuela was the province with the highest number of complaints (21.3%), of which 6.4% belonged to San Carlos, the canton with the most environmental problems registered in this system, Zavala said.
“SITADA makes it possible to define, expand and improve the process of reviewing the information reported by citizens in relation to environmental complaints to the agencies and offices involved in the management of environmental complaints in Costa Rica, which facilitates the maintenance of information and streamlines the process of control, attention and analysis,” he said.
The Integrated System for the Processing and Handling of Environmental Complaints (SITADA) seeks to establish an information management scheme to support decision-making, evaluation and monitoring of compliance with the follow-up and handling of environmental complaints.
The Ministry of Environment and Energy’s goal is to continue incorporating local governments and other agencies in the use of this tool, which reduces attention and response times, explained Walter Zavala.
In addition, in 2020, of the more than 5,000 complaints, 976 were resolved by the Judiciary, 378 more than in 2019, and the Environmental Court resolved 69 of the complaints received.
“It is important for the population to be part of these tools, which also serve to support the authorities in the fight against people who break the country’s environmental laws,” concluded the MINAE environmental comptroller.
Anyone wishing to make a report can do so via the website http://www.sitada.go.cr/denunciaspublico/ which operates 24/7 or by calling the telephone number 1192.
The full report can be accessed at www.contraloriaambiental.go.cr