TECOCOSLaw Draft Returns to Congress After Being Archived

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The Coastal Community Territories project known as TECOCOS, was archived on July 23 but returned to Congress due to the initiative of Broad Front Legislator Suray Carrillo.

The project was shelved after four-years lapsed, which is the period that is allowed by regulation for law projects to be approved or rejected by congress.

The TECOCOS law project was created in 2009 by popular initiative, with the goal of benefiting more than 50,000 families who live in communities within the maritime land zones, who are under the thread of being evicted from their properties. In 2011, the TECOCOS text had to be modified because the project was rejected by the Constitutional Court due to two points. It was finally reopened for discussion in the legislative assembly on June 9, 2011 until it was shelved this July.

But on July 27, Legislator Carrillo took up the project again and put it back in the legislative process, with the goalof convincing the lawmakers to putit on the agenda and have the legislators discuss it again.

“I am going to do everything possiblefor this project to enterinto discussion quickly and for the executive branch to convene [extraordinarly sessions] quickly,” Carrillo said.

For his part, Legislator Juan Marin, of the Liberationist fraction, said he does not agree with the current text because, according to Marin, the majority of the legislators were not convinced to approve it during the six years that the draft was in process in the assembly, so it mertis being redraftedto take into consideration the suggestions of the various legislative factions.

“We should start working on a new draft from zero and reach a consensus, have roundtable work sessions with fractions, because if we continue with the same text just like it is, this will not be the way to gain consensus for the project. If we follow the same route, the same strategy, it will no longer be viable and, in the end, history is going to repeat itself,” Marin said.

It is worth noting that the TECOCOS project has already been in Congress for more than six years, having been revised time and again by commissions and by the various political party fractions. However, it has not yet received the 38 votes needed for final approval.

Ostional Refuge Could BeDesignatedMixed Use

On the other hand, Legislator Marin pointed out that the bill on the uses of the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, which was created by his team and submitted to Congress in September of 2012, has already been convenedto extraordinary sessions by the executive branch for this week (Monday, August 10th to Friday, the 14th).

This project was given a positive review by the Environmental Commission on June 11 and convened to extraordinary sessions by the executive branch on Wednesday, August 5, 2015, through the minister of the presidency, Sergio Alfaro.

According to what the bill proposes, the refuge would be mixed in nature, meaning that it would have state lands (public) and private or individual lands, as long as the properties are compatible with conservation and environmental protection objectives.

Nonetheless, the administration of the refuge will be the sole responsibility of MINAE (Ministry of Environment and Energy) through the Tempisque Area of Conservation (ACT), the only entity authorized to grant concessions to residents in the refuge, as long as they comply with the provisions of the General Management Plan issued by the ACT.