Principle 10 National Profile and Action Plan Project in Costa Rica

The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAET) of Costa Rica and UNITAR signed a Memorandum of Agreement concerning the project “Preparing a National Profile and Action Plan on the Implementation of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration” in March of 2007.

The national project coordinator was Mrs. Maria Guzman Ortiz, Director of Environmental Quality, with Rosario Zuñiga serving as focal point. A National Coordination Team was established to guide and oversee the project implementation.
National Planning Workshop
A National Planning Workshop took place on 17 April 2007 in San Jose. Some 35 participants from a range of government agencies and stakeholder groups participated in the event. The workshop created an opportunity to reflect on the country’s needs to strengthen participatory environmental governance and the implementation of Principle 10.
National Profile Development
Costa Rica completed its National Profile in 2008.
National Priority Setting Workshop
A National Priority Setting Workshop on Principle 10 Implementation took place on 1-2 September 2008 in San Jose. Based on Costa Rica’s National Profile some 35 participants from government and civil society identified and agreed, on the following national priorities:
  • Development of national regulations on access to information, flexible regulations on public participation for various environmental decision-processes, and reform environmental tort law to deter environmental law non-compliance
  • Implementation of training programmes for public officials on methods to disseminate environmental information to the public, design and management of public participation processes, and training of judges and prosecutors in environmental matters
  • Strengthening capacities of the public (i.e. NGOs, local communities and indigenous groups) to (1) participate effectively in environmental decision-processes, (2) learn about and effectively use channels to access environmental information, (3) better analyze environmental information and (4) understand options to access justice when environmental rights have been infringed
National Action Plan
The Priority Setting workshop provided the basis for the development of a National Action Plan on Principle 10 implementation which was completed by Costa Rica in November 2008.

Targeted Capacity Development Action
As a follow-up capacity building activity to support the implementation of Costa Rica’s Action Plan, UNITAR supported a project entitled “Implementation of Principle 10: Construction of a Participatory Space for Environmental Quality Management” (2009-2011). The project aimed at reinforcing the participation of local stakeholders in environmental quality management through a series of five workshops at the local level.

A major output of the project is an educational document that provides guidance to local authorities on how to develop environmental quality management plans. The document takes a results-based approach and includes practical instructions and exercises.

Project website:

All project documents are also available on our publications page, including:
  • National Planning Workshop Report
  • National Profile
  • National Priority Setting Workshop Report,
  • Action Plan
  • Executive Summary
  • Final Report of National Profile and Action Plan Project
  • Educational Document on "Governance and Environmental Quality Management"
  • Final Report of Environmental Quality Management Project