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UN court: Nicaragua must pay Costa Rica for environmental costs

[JURIST] The International Court of Justice [official website] on Friday ordered [judgment, PDF] Nicaragua to pay Costa Rica nearly USD $380,000 for environmental damage to a protected wetland in the border area near the San Juan River.

Nicaragua removed close to 300 trees and cleared 6.19 hectares of vegetation, resulting in Costa Rica's claim that, due to the change in ecological character, it has "lost its ability to mitigate natural hazards or that such services have been impaired." Because of Nicaragua's actions in the area, Costa Rica purchased satellite images and used police air surveillance to monitor Nicaragua's unlawful activity.

The bulk of the payment, $236,032, stems from costs and expenses incurred by Costa Rica as a direct consequence of Nicaragua's unlawful activities on Costa Rican territory, in addition, to $120,000 for the impairment of environmental goods and services.

The total amount of compensation awarded to Costa Rica is to be paid by April 2, 2018, and should payment be delayed, post-judgment interest on the total amount will accrue at a rate of 6 per cent.


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