Caimans, crocs and communities:...
 Costa Rica environmental law clinic...


Fla law newsletter of the University of Florida College of Law
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072281/00127
 Material Information
Title: Fla law newsletter of the University of Florida College of Law
Portion of title: Flalaw
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Levin College of Law
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: <Gainesville FL> College of Law Communications Office 1997-
Creation Date: 2004
Frequency: weekly
completely irregular
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol.1, no. 1 (Oct. 6, 1997)-
General Note: Weekly during the school year with a biweekly insert, numbered separately called: The Docket.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002311766
notis - ALR5129
System ID: UF00072281:00127

Table of Contents
    Caimans, crocs and communities: rescuing and endangered wetland
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Costa Rica environmental law clinic opens in Spring
        Page 3
        Page 4
Full Text

Lla aw

Caimans, Crocs & Communities:
Rescuing an Endangered Wetland
In Summer 2003, the Costa Rican
Conservation NGO Asociacion
Ambiental VIDA commissioned the
Conservation Clinic to assist with poli-
cy issues associated with Cafio Negro
National Wildlife Refuge, a Wetland of
International Importance under the Ramsar Convention
(Ramsar, Iran, 1971). Established as a Ramsar site Jan.
27, 1991, Cafio Negro is a shallow freshwater lagoon
near the Nicaraguan border surrounded by seasonally
inundated marshes and woods and threatened by sedi-
mentation, fire, poaching and agricultural pressures.
VIDA sought the clinic's assistance in developing
a proposal to list Cafio Negro on the Montreux Record
under the Ramsar Convention Record (official list of
wetlands undergoing changes in ecological condition)
and thereby make it eligible for increased funding and
technical assistance, something the refuge badly needs.
To ensure public participation in the petition
process, the clinic conducted three community work-

1992 and continued development of national guide-
lines regarding access to genetic resources have
allowed countries to begin to assert some level of con-
trol over access to genetic resources in their territorial
The 2003 access to genetic resources clinic team
was comprised of members from countries spanning
the Americas; including Peruvian lawyer Bonnie
Sobrina Fuchs, three students from the Tulane Cuba
Environmental Law Project, Costa
Rican law student Daniel Aguilar
Mendez and U.S law students David
Fazzino (UF), and Irene Chiu (NYU).
Participants worked to develop an
access to genetic resources law for use
by developing countries in the region
through a comparative analysis of
access agreements in Costa Rica and Peru, as well as a
1999 draft of a Cuban law and the "Bonn Guidelines,"
a product of the Conference of Parties to the CBD.
They also prepared comprehensive reports on essential
(Continued Page 2)

UF Law Costa
Rica Program
This special issue of
FlaLaw is devoted to
University of Florida Levin
College of Law Programs in
Costa Rica. The UF Law
Joint Program with the
University of Costa Rica
emphasizes applied legal
education and field-based

shops and received the support of the costa Rican skills training in compara-
Ministry of the Environment. The formal petition is tive and international
expected to be submitted to the Ramsar Secretariat in J environmental law, includ-
the spring of 2004. Danielle King, a UF graduate stu- ing year round clinical and
dent, used the experience to define her master's thesis externship opportunities.
research, which will include her community's use of m. It is unique in its regional
Caiman Crocodylus, a Cafio Negro reptilian species o approach to environmental
used for its meat and hide. law education, and
Danielle King (UF Interdisciplinary Ecology), Maria Fernanda includes participation by
EsQuivel (UCR, Derecho), Katie Hausrath (U. Chi Kent Law), Tom practicing environmental
Cope (UF Law). lawyers and law students
Sd from throughout the
'La Fruta de Oro': Regulation of Americas.
Access to Genetic Resources .. .. ........ For information, go to
The two most apparent benefits of rich genetic .in. r o .ha dozen http://conservation.law.
resources are increased production and value to agri- ..............l u ufl.edulsummercostarical
cultural and pharmaceutical industries. There is a f index.htm or contact the
tremendous market potential for bioprospecting, the t ya b L S Center for Governmental
search for useful compounds or genes in plant, animal w t Responsibility (352-392-
and microbial organisms. Estimated sales in the U.S. T year's c 2237) or Program Faculty
of natural-product based pharmaceuticals are $43 bil- Tom Ankersen (top, left,
lion per year and $53 billion per year for seeds derived a t d ankersen@law.ufi.edu) or
from traditional crop varieties. In the past, developing e a and Richard Hamann (right,
e n ad t m S hamann@law.ufl.edu).
countries have been unable to profit from genetic hamann@Iaw.uf.edu).
resources found within their territorial confines as
developed countries have utilized these resources with- UNIERI
out compensation. Both international instruments such # FLORIDA
as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in [ -, Fredric G. Levin College of Law

Grant to Examine
Land & Resource
Tenure, Information
Technology and
Sustainability in
Latin America and
Legal Skills Professor/
Center for Governmental
Responsibility (CGR)
Conservation Clinic
Director Tom Ankersen
and University of Florida
Geomatics Professor
Grenville Barnes have been
awarded a $100,000
research and writing grant
from the John D. and
Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation. Their propos-
al, "Inside the Polygon:
The Efficacy of Community
Tenure in the Western
Property Paradigm," was
one of 30 selected by an
external review committee
from an applicant pool of
379. Other U.S. academic
institutions receiving
awards include Boston
University, Harvard Law
School, Princeton
University, Stanford
University and University
of Minnesota.
Ankersen and Barnes
will examine the historical
evolution of communal
land titling and its con-
temporary use in securing
land rights for indigenous
peoples and traditional
communities. Researchers
will focus on development
of informal tenure systems
within communally titled
property and communally
conferred resource conces-
sions (known as extractive
reserves), and the con-
temporary use of geomat-
ics-based information
technologies to arrange
land and resource rights
"inside the polygon" of
communally titled land.

(Genetic Resources, Continued)
issues within the access to genetic resources debates;
including sometimes conflicting ideological and legal
perspectives on intellectual property rights, traditional
knowledge and institutional arrangements. The process
was facilitated through site visits to both indigenous
reserves in Costa Rica and INBIO, a bioprospecting
research institution in Costa Rica. Participants present-
ed results and recommendations at a workshop spon-
sored by Tulane University and the University of Costa
Rica designed to solicit the input of international
experts. Through dialogue at the workshop, the partici-
pants gleaned a greater understanding of relative
advantages and disadvantages of certain framework
-David Fazzino (UF Law), Irene Chiu (NYU), Bonnie Sobrina Fuchs
(Peru), Romy Moniet, Roxana Gomez Guada, Leidy Pedre Sierra
(Tulane Cuba Project).

Coral Countries:
The Mesoamerican Reef Initiative
The Mesoamerican Reef off the coasts of Mexico,
Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras is the world's second
largest coral reef complex and largest in the Western
Hemisphere. It is a "shared resource" under emerging
international law, and recently the Belizean portion
was declared a United Nations' UNESCO World
Heritage Site. The four reef nations signed the "Tulum
Declaration;' a presidential level cooperation agree-
ment designed to ensure the reef's survival.
However, there is concern that the entire reef may
be in jeopardy. Two of the most significant factors
affecting the reef are over-fishing and global climate
change, which many scientists believe may be a factor
in coral die-offs such as the massive 1998 coral bleach-
ing event associated with the global weather phenome-
non of El Nifio. The nongovernmental organization
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (E-LAW)
asked the Conservation Clinic to examine different
threats to the reef and present findings to E-LAW
members, Costa Rican biologists, UF professors and
students. E-LAW supported the participation of
Guatemalan lawyer Jeanette De Noack, Belizean
lawyer Sharon Pitts and Mexican lawyers Alejandro
Reyes Huerta and Patricio Martin, all assisted by UF
law student Greg Boylan and Jamaican law student
Tracey Holmes. The clinic team chose to examine the
feasibility of declaring the Belizean portion of the reef
an "endangered site" under World Heritage Convention
guidelines and to undertake a comparative analysis of
fishing laws among reef countries. Consultations with
a prominent University of Costa Rica reef biologist
and a field trip to the Costa Rica National Aquarium in
Puntarenas helped the team understand associated tech-
nical issues.
The team concluded a Belizean nongovernmental
entity can petition UNESCO to list a site on its endan-
gered list, and there is substantial scientific literature
describing the link between climate change and coral
bleaching. To submit a petition, documentation of
these impacts specifically in Belize should be further

developed and a nongovernmental entity must be will-
ing to prepare and submit the petition. Using the U.N.
Food and Agricultural Organization's Code of
Responsible Fishing Conduct as a basis, the
Conservation Clinic team prepared a comparative
analysis of fishing laws in the four reef countries. The
team found widespread disparity in their fishing legis-
lation, with some fishing laws dating to the middle of
the last century. Enforcement also is a chronic prob-
lem. As a shared resource, the reef would benefit from
harmonized fishing regulation based on contemporary
science, and expanded "no-take zones," where all fish-
ing is prohibited to provide for fisheries recruitment.
-Greg Boylan (UF Law); Tracey Holmes (Norman Manley Law
School, Jamaica); Sharon Pitts (Belize); leanette De Noack
(Guatemala); Alejandro Reyes Huerta and Patricio Martin (Mexico).

Something Fishy Here:
ISO 14001 Certification Case
Banana production ranks behind tourism as Costa
Rica's second largest industry, and much of the coun-
try's Caribbean slope has been converted from primary
rain forest to banana plantations. Bananas are grown as
a plantation monoculture crop with heavy inputs of
pesticides and fertilizers. Deforestation associated with
banana production and other land uses is generally
viewed as a key culprit in the
demise of Costa Rica's
Caribbean coral reefs. A
2002 fishkill in the Pacuare
River Basin, world renowned
for its whitewater rafting, set
the stage for administrative
litigation over the agricultur-
al practices of the
"bananeros." Clinic/Consultorio law students Tom
Ruppert (UF Law), Quilla Trimmer-Smith (UF Law),
Holly Berman (U. Denver) and Gladys Martinez (UCR
Derecho) worked the Costa Rica environmental litiga-
tion NGO Justicia para la Naturaleza on a brief
submitted to an environmental administrative tribunal
and helped prepare a community guide to the ISO
14001, the voluntary, private environmental manage-
ment system used by the bananeros as a defense.
Thomas Ruppert (UF Law), Quilla Trimmer Smith (UF Law), Holly
Berman (U. Denver), Gladys Martinez (UCR, Derecho).

Abogados Sin Zapatos:
The Central American Forest
Communities Paralegal Project
Globalization has arrived to the deepest recesses of
Central America's frontier forests. Large and small-
scale forest resource exploitation and infrastructure
development projects such as Mundo Maya and Plan
Puebla Panama have descended upon the indigenous
and campesino communities of the region. Many com-
munities are dependent on government authorizations
to retain their resource rights. Yet these remote forest
communities lack basic access to legal services to
(Continued Page 3)


ve t o F d e d LUF Landscape
TThProfessor Tina
Gurucharri (stand-
Coting) and Costa Rica
The cic ko i Latin. Clinic Director/Program Co-Director
aShirley Sanchez (seated, front left) work

on a Conservation Clinic project involving
the Southern Pacific Coastal Zone. UF, UCR at

The.. Pab lo Sanchez UFe Co o The University of
S ... .. ... .DirectoFlorida and University of
Clinic, w diff.... .... .... C t R U Ra Costa Rica recently col-
laborated to participate
and ande(seat ed Mari Fernanda Esin the 2003 International
locate withi th offiEnvironmental Moot
agecieDaniel Aguillar (from left, standing), Jose Court Competition at
a n. ... .Pablo Sanchez, UF Conservation Clinic Stetson University. The
. Director Tom Ankersen, University of competition, held Oct.
S.Costa Rica (UCR) Law Dean Rafael 31-Nov. I in St.

and (seated) Maria Fernanda Esquivel, teams from the U.S.,
Program o-Director Shirley Sanche and
... ... .. .Australia and New
Gladys Martinez at the Costa Rica facili-
... ... .....Zealand. The University of
work ety. UCR students Aguilar, Sanchez, Florida/University ofa

aEsquivel and Martinez work at the new Costa Rica team was
.UCR Environmental Clinic. comprised of Coach
jThomas Ruppert (UF),
Paul Ghiotto (UF), Alex
l p o Sv .f ts Figares (UF) and Maria
Fernanda Esquivel (UCR),
.... .all of whom had partici-
pated in UF's 2003 sum-
mer program in interna-
tional environmental law
to*~ declare an ieaol liste ** at the University of Costa
s fm d o r U. lw s w p Rica.
The UF/UCR team was
an therea will benefit by being athe only cross-cultural
devloin comparatiparticipant, and only
The new Consteam representing the
l~aw school an international "Cente of Environmentcivil law tradition. The
the law sch by the.~ *l Conservation~ Unionjoint team is another
result of the active
Dean/Environmenta La Poes Rfe Gnae B* academic partnership
between UF and UCR in
the field of international

(Paralegal, Continued)
ensure their contractual or tenure-based resource rights
or defend environmental and community rights in the
face of new development threats.
A novel approach to this problem was developed in
the Ecuadorian Amazon. In Ecuador, a cadre of com-
munity paralegals (above) has been trained to serve as
legal intermediaries between local communities and the
institutions with whom they must increasingly interact.
In 2003, the Conservation Clinic teamed up with
CEDARENA, a Costa Rican environmental law NGO
that operates regionally, to consider the possibility of

establishing a community paralegal program in Central
America. Paul Ghiotto (UF Law), Ruben Gonzalez
(Panama), Jeanette de Noack (Guatemala) and Tiernan
Mennan (Cornell Law) examined the feasibility of a
regional community paralegal program throughout
Central America, and presented the concept to a forest
community association in Guatemala. Using input from
Ecuadorian community paralegal program founder
Manolo Morales, the group developed a project propos-
al for a regional community paralegal program.
The proposal analyzed the role of legal assistants in
(Continued Page 4)

environmental law.
For information on
the Costa Rica program
and other UF/UCR collab-
orative legal projects,
visit the Conservation
Clinic's Web site at:

Summer Study
in Costa Rica
Travel abroad offers
memories that last a life-
time and the chance to
develop valuable contacts
and experience as you .
broaden your horizons.
Applications are due (Paralegal, Continued)
Applications are due Central American civil law systems, logistics and
by March 1 5 for the ABA-
costs of community paralegal training programs, and
approved UF Levin College
of Law Environmental Law relevant Central American laws regulating legal pro-
Program at the University fessionalism that could hinder or help paralegal train-
of Costa Rica. The 2004 ing. The clinic also conducted two workshops to iden-
program is scheduled for tify potential community paralegal pilot project stake-
June 21-Aug. 2. holders. In July, the clinic conducted a community
If you have questions workshop in San Benito, Guatemala for ACOFOP, the
about these or other Association of Forest Communities of Pet6n. In
international opportuni- August, the clinic conducted an additional workshop
ties, contact the Office of in Panama City for potential Panamanian stakeholders
Student Affairs or go under the auspices of the Asociaci6n para
online for detailed infor- Conservaci6n y Desarrollo (ACD).
mation and applications
at www.Iaw.ufl.edul El Sendero Osa: Establishing a
studentslabroad. Mixed Tenure Regional Trail System

on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula
The complex of protected areas and contiguous
forest on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula represents the
last remaining moist tropical forest on Central
if America's Pacific Coast. Biogeographically, the Osa
forests demonstrate a strong affinity to the Colombian
Choco on the South American continent, and repre-
sent the northernmost expression of that ecosystem.
Globally, the Osa is considered a Center of Plant
Diversity, with a floral complexity rivaling that of the
Amazon. At the heart of this remarkable mosaic lies
Corcovado National Park, widely described as "per-
So in haps the most biologically intense place on earth."
Ecotourism is central to Costa Rica's strategy to
protect the Osa Peninsula. To further this strategy,
C ot -Rc conservation planners at CEDARENA Land Trust -
o t l a not-for-profit organization that promotes private
w l land conservation propose to establish a regional
trail across the Osa Peninsula patterned after similar
efforts in Chile (Sendero de Chile), Peru (Inca Trail)
n and United States (Appalachian Trail). The trail will
anchor a concerted effort to create a biological corri-
i iit ( 9 dor connecting Corcovado and Piedras Blancas
National Parks.
Alex Figares (UF Law/Business) and Tiernan
DIrec.tor..To Ir.. .n.. Mennen (Cornell Law) investigated the legal issues
*...r] l concerning the building of a public trail traversing
both public and private lands in the ecologically sen-
sitive Osa Peninsula. They looked into land tenure
and land use regulations and traversed the Osa to
n ascertain viable alternatives. The project culminated
[T r * TP" *tr. in a re onnrt hbefnre CEDARENA T and Trust re resen-

tatives (who sponsored the endeavor) and various
stakeholders in the region. Also presenting a compara-
tive study of issues pertaining to the trail were students
Jessica Cooper (UF Law) and Jose Pablo Sanchez Vega

(Universidad de Costa Rica Derecho). The report
includes the recommendation for the establishment of a
National Trails Law in Costa Rica, and a proposed
route recommended by the Conservation Clinic. O