The coexistence of development and the protection of biodiversity is a full time job for Costa Rica. Having the 24 % of the country wild areas under protection is a hard work, but the long-term profits are valuable. Since 1996, the road ecology time line begins for the country with the first data collection of roadkills, paving the way to measure the magnitude of the negative effect of roads on wildlife. In 2012, citizens, NGO´s, universities and government entities got together alarmed by a high number of road kills reported in most of the later studies. A guide to recommend mitigation measures for new road projects and existing roads was created and the Ministry of Transportation started to use it for new road projects in 2015. The Ombudsman office started an investigation to identify the needs to address the impacts of roads on wildlife, in 2018. They identified the need of a specific policy, measures for existing roads and for rural roads. In 2019, a window opens for existing incorporating mitigation measures for existing roads through road maintenance activities. The year of 2020, is when the data collection started for the implementation of measures to reduce the impact of existing roads on wildlife. This year, 2021 the Supreme Court of Justice ordered the construction of wildlife mitigation measures on a Road expansion project of 100km length. For the country, there is still pending the inclusion of mitigation measures on rural roads even though there is a specific policy that request them. We are evidencing a deceleration of the progress the country has made reducing the impact of roads on wildlife. Government started using Road construction for the reactivation of the economy due to COVID-19 Emergency, and environmental measures are set aside to speed up the projects.
Mainstreaming ecology in transportation planning and program delivery