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Costa Rican Courts Protect Leatherbacks from Construction

Leatherback sea turtles are ancient reptiles surviving from the age of the dinosaurs. The species is highly endangered, with Pacific populations facing the threat of extinction within a decade.

In a recent victory for leatherbacks, the Earthjustice International Program—through its work with the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA) and its Costa Rican partners—helped secure an order from Costa Rican courts against construction projects in critical leatherback nesting habitat by convincing the court to admit their suit seeking protections for the turtle. This suit aims specifically to halt construction of beach houses and tourist developments within the Leatherback Turtle Marine Park, and to prevent the government from authorizing potentially detrimental construction before the lands dedicated to the park become protected.