"It is of the utmost importance for Costa Rica to have established this agreement with Canada, which is a world leader in prevention and control of forest fires," the SINAC Director Rafael Gutierrez stated.
As part of the SINAC-CIFFC 2020 Memorandum of Cooperation and Assistance, the new plan will comprise joint training, research, experience exchanging, and expeditious mobilization of firefighters and air assets for massive wildfires.
"Wildfires increase every year due to climate change, which conditions the fire to expand rapidly as a result of the vegetation drying," Gutierrez recalled, adding that intentional human actions also prompt massive forest burnt.
In 2020, Costa Rica reported 35,253 hectares of forest burned due to 67 massive fires, which occurred for vandalism, farming, and hunting activities.
"Despite this heartbreaking reality, we have made good progress in preventing and containing forest fires. So far this year, the SINAC has registered 23 fires, in which they were burned 11,572 hectares less than in 2020," Gutierrez stated.
Costa Rica’s Environment Ministry (MINAE) recently recognized the commitment of SINAC firefighters and volunteers to fight forest fires through educational programs, which are aimed primarily at the population living near forest areas.
"Our people must also contribute to the prevention of these disasters, which concern us all because of the effects they generate on the environment," Gutierrez concluded.