The Rich Coast Project confronts the contentious land rights struggle currently occurring along Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean coast, connecting local experience to broad questions of international law and policy. Through the combination of new media storytelling and legal research, we will tell the communities’ side of the story and explore alternative approaches to the competing aims of sustainable development and environmental conservation.
The project will work with local advocates to produce a collective memory of the area and its people, tracing the historical process of development and examining the impact of national conservation policy over the past several decades. This process will be supported by the simultaneous development of an online resource of community archives, legal research, and educational materials aimed at promoting widespread understanding of the complicated legal forces at play.
The goal of the project is to use storytelling and creative advocacy to build the case for keeping the local people on their land, showing that not only is it the right thing to do, it will also produce better results for the people and the environment.