National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC)
300m Sur Ulacit, Edificio Padilla
San José, Costa Rica
Tel: (506) 2522-6500
SINAC the National System of Conservation Areas, or in Spanish the Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion, is the Costa Rican National Parks administrator, and is part of the Ministry of Environment and Energy or MINAE. Created in 1994 it combined previously three separate organisations that had previously managed laws relating to National Parks, Wildlife and Forestry.
SINAC oversees over 160 protected areas, of which 26 are designated National Parks. Other areas are designated wildlife refuges, biological reserves, national monuments, forest reserves, national wetlands, and protected zones.
The entire country of 12,596,690 acres (50,977 km²) is under the jurisdiction of eleven large Conservation Areas which were created in 1998, overseen by divisions of SINAC. Over 25% of the national territory i.e. 3,221,636 acres (13,037 km²) is included in the national parks, refuges and protected zones within these eleven Conservation Areas.
Costa Rica's progressive policies on environmental protection and sustainable eco-tourism in the National Parks System have been lauded as a model for other countries. The rainforests, tropical forests, marine areas and wetlands of Costa Rica are the subject of many university and scientific organization studies. The enrichment of the world's knowledge of these important habitats is an invaluable contribution from the conservation efforts of the various organisations involved.
- Guanacaste Conservation Area, including Santa Rosa, Rincón de la Vieja and Guanacaste National Parks
- Arenal Huetar Norte Conservation Area including the Juan Castro Blanco National Park
- Central Volcanic Conservation Area including the Braulio Carrillo, Irazú Volcano, Poás Volcano and Turrialba Volcano National Parks as well as the Guayabo National Monument
- Tortuguero Conservation Area including Tortuguero National Park
- Tempisque Conservation Area including Barra Honda, Las Baulas and Palo Verde National Parks
- Arenal Tilaran Conservation Area including the Arenal Volcano and Tenorio Volcano National Parks
- Central Pacific Conservation Area including the Manuel Antonio, Carara and La Cangreja National Parks
- Pacific La Amistad Conservation Area including Chirripó and Tapantí National Parks
- Caribbean La Amistad Conservation Area including the Barbilla and Cahuita National Parks and La Amistad International Park which is shared with Panama and Pacific La Amistad Conservation Area
- Osa Conservation Area including Corcovado and Piedras Blancas National Parks
- Cocos Island Marine Conservation Area which maintains just the Cocos Island National Park
- Tortuguero Conservation Area dependency of SINAC
- Map showing conservation area at Costa Rica National Parks
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