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The U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, during a meeting with Costa Rican authorities, reaffirmed the United States government's support
in green programs developed in Costa Rica. - Casa Presidencial photo -




















Published Thursday, June 3, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, during a meeting with Costa Rican authorities, reaffirmed the United States government's support in green programs developed in Costa Rica.

"That is why we are here, because of the commitment that (Costa Rica) has, from the government to civil society and the business sector as they have a role in response to the climate crisis; but more than that to respond to the climate crisis, to protect nature and cities,” Blinken said.

During his short visit, he was able to take a stroll through a section of the Ruta Naturbana, which is an elevated road over the river bend. The route is part of a program that seeks to keep the capital's rivers clean and avoid contamination.

On his tour, Blinken was accompanied by Claudia Dobles, the first lady and representatives of several ministries.

According to the Costa Rican government, authorities of both countries recognized the importance of using new technologies to better understand the impacts caused by the development of human activities on ecosystems and to promote their protection.

An example of the support of the United States with the development of green programs in Costa Rica is the National Land Use, Land Cover, and Ecosystems Monitoring System.

The goal of that program is to control the evolution of Costa Rica's natural resources, biodiversity, and agricultural sector. This plan has been created with funding from the United States, together with other organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB, and the French Development Agency, FDA.



This system was designed six years ago, however, until this year it has been implemented in the country by government order through a Presidential Decree.

Among the benefits of this program is the monitoring of the reduction of emissions, known as REDD +, which has allowed payment for oxygen production with funds from the Green Climate Fund.

According to the U.S. Embassy, Blinken's Wednesday agenda included a meeting with the Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard. A quick visit to the Civic Center Desamparados. After that, he participated in a National Land Use, Land Cover, and Ecosystems Monitoring System. Before leaving the country yesterday, he also held a meet-and-greet with the U.S. Embassy staff.

Although Blinken kept busy during his visit, there was one issue he did not fully address: President Carlos Alvarado's request to the U.S. government for a donation of vaccines against covid-19. There was a high expectation for Blinken's response to the bold request.
 
However, on Tuesday the U.S. Secretary didn't confirm nor rule out the possibility of donating vaccines against covid-19 to Costa Rica.

"In the next week, or about two weeks, we (the United States) will announce the process that we will distribute those vaccines, the criteria that we will use, among other conditions," Blinken said. "We are going to focus on equity, on the equitable distribution of vaccines, on science, we will work together with the COVAX mechanism and we will distribute them without political requirements."

The United States recently announced the possibility of donating 80 million vaccines against covid-19 through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, known as COVAX, which is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to the vaccines directed by the World Health Organization.

Watch the public events that took place during the U.S. Secretary of State two-day visit by accessing the U.S. Embassy Facebook page.

Antony Blinken is the third U.S. Secretary of State visiting Costa Rica in 11 years.



In January 2020, the former U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo visited Costa Rica.


His conversations focused on the situation in Venezuela and Nicaragua, an increase in migratory flows and the efforts in the area on the fight against drug trafficking.

In the meeting, Pompeo was accompanied by Michael Kozak, acting assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs; Sharon Day, the now-former U.S. ambassador among others U.S. government representatives.

Pompeo also visited the Joint Operations Center of the Ministry of Public Security, located in Base 2 of Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela.


In March 2010, Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State at that time, also visited Costa Rica.



She first met with then President Laura Chinchilla. Her meeting agenda included topics such as the fight against drug trafficking and the development of the aerospace industry in Costa Rica. Later, Clinton met with former President Oscar Arias.

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What expectations did you have on Blinken's visit to Costa Rica? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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