2012 Project Spotlight
In 2012, the Conservation Clinic and the International Environmental Law Skills Lab were combined in order to give all Program participants experience in providing short-term development assistance (consultancies) and working in interdisciplinary teams. Students worked on a variety of projects, each of which focused on water management issues pertinent to the Tempisque-Bebedero Basin, one of Costa Rica’s largest and most water-limited watersheds. The Tempisque-Bebedero Basin and the Pacific Coast of Central America has been characterized as a “climate change hot-spot” due to predicted impacts on water resources, principally drought.
The 2012 projects included an investigation of the legal, socioeconomic, and environmental issues associated with rice production in the buffer zone of Palo Verde National Park; an assessment of the legal and scientific tools available for improving the health of the impaired wetland at Palo Verde National Park, an internationally recognized wetland; and an analysis of the institutional and legal framework for drought management in the Tempisque Basin. Participants also evaluated new recommendations for establishing minimum environmental flows in the Basin, investigated the environmental and social impacts of a proposed water storage dam in the Basin, and reviewed and critiqued current regulations for nutrient pollution in the Tempisque River.
2012 Costa Rica Practicum Projects
- Rice Production Conflicts in the Tempisque-Bebedero Watershed
- Restoration of the Wetlands in Palo Verde National Park: A Legal and Ecological Analysis
- Legal, Institutional, and Scientific Challenges for Present and Future Drought Management in the Tempisque Basin
- Environmental Flow Policy Analysis for the Tempisque River: Employing Stakeholder Driven Data Collection to Inform Water Management Decisions
- Water Storage Dam in the Tempisque Basin: Scoping for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
- Nutrient Management in the Tempisque River Basin, Costa Rica: Synthesis and Recommendations