The objective of the National Strategy for Maritime Control and Surveillance (ENCVM) is to assist with follow-up and monitoring of activities that affect conservation and use of Costa Rican marine resources and spaces. The purpose is to provide the country with a cutting-edge technology system that includes radars and detection devices for Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) and Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS).
Radar Installation in Cocos Island National Park
This past year, as part of the first phase of strategy implementation, a group of public and private institutions—among them the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), Ministry of Security (MSP), National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), Cocos Island Marine Conservation Area (ACMIC), National Coast Guard Service (SNG), Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), National Power and Light Company (CNFL), Costa Rica Electricity Institute (ICE), Forever Costa Rica Association and Conservation International (CI)—have collaborated in installation of radar in Cocos Island National Park. The radar installation involves construction of a 30-meter tower and a system of electrical connectivity that provides energy to the radar 24 hours a day.
The interinstitutional team has met weekly, achieving significant fundamental support from institutions such as the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), Central Aviation Office (DGAC) and
Central American Corporation for Air Navigation Services (COCESNA) to supplement installation costs. The counterparts and those responsible from each institution are expressed in the amendment to the Interadministrative Contract for implementation of the ENCVM and in the agreement between MINAE, MSP, MOPT, DGAC and COCESNA for financing the transportation of personnel and materials to PNIC. Both documents became official in September 2015.
On September 7, the first boat sailed for Cocos Island, transporting both personnel contracted by CNFL, the construction agency for the project, as well as materials necessary for the construction in Cocos Island National Park, which were acquired by the nongovernmental organizations that support the project—Forever Costa Rica and Conservation International. To date, two boats have sailed, and it is estimated that by mid-March 2016, the radar will be installed and functioning.
In parallel, work continued on development and formalization of the action protocols for implementation of the system and of the decree on the obligatory use of VMS, vital complements to maximizing use of the system.
The significant support of each one of the institutions involved should be mentioned, representing more than US$3,544,251, in project design, legal instruments, transportation, hiring workers, materials and equipment.
Additionally, the Forever Costa Rica Association remains committed to providing an integrated control and surveillance system to the sites identified as important for marine conservation by the Forever Costa Rica Program and where work is underway on creation of new management categories. Therefore, an assessment is being developed and surveillance systems are being designed for selected key sites: Guanacaste Conservation Area, Tempisque Conservation Area, Tortuguero Conservation Area and Osa Conservation Area.