Environment in Costa Rica

Colbs Estudio Legal

Colbs Estudio Legal provides businesses as well as hospitality developments with environmental law services covering a diverse array of issues, such as water allocation, forestry management, mining and air quality regulations. Department head Sebastián Jiménez is an expert in regulatory issues and matters concerning water distribution systems, in hotels and condominiums in particular. His co-chair Javier Escalante handles matters surrounding the protection of wetlands and other water bodies, as well as forestry and mining law. Associate Fernanda Jiménez plays a key role in the department, bringing ample experience in biodiversity laws and contracts for the use of natural resources to the table.

Key clients

Hermosa Oceanfront Development

Hotel y Club Punta Leona

Pórtico de las Cariátides

GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit)

International Council of Environmental Law

Work highlights

  • Advised Hotel y Club Punta Leona on the legality and requirements of its internal water distribution system
  • Advised Pórtico de las Cariátides on the complexities and particularities of Costa Rica’s water system regulations
  • Conducted a comprehensive review of the current legislation concerning waste disposal and treatment of special and dangerous waste for GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit)

EY Law Central America

The environmental law group at EY Law Central America is well positioned to handle matters relating to waste management, chemical and hazardous material management, water and waste water systems. Counting fruit plantations, industrial plants and developers among its clients, the department led by Roberto Cordero assists with a wide variety of environmental matters, including contentious issues. Cordero specialises in environmental audits and compliance reviews, and has an additional strong suit in environmental due diligence processes. Associates Marco Quesada and Jéssica Castro provide key support and both are knowledgeable in areas such as neutral carbon verification.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Cordero


‘The team’s strengths are the skills and experience they have with audits.’

‘The EY environmental team led by Roberto Cordero is the most credible team of environmental lawyers in the country with in-depth knowledge of productive activities.’

‘Great knowledge and a vocation to explain things well, deep knowledge of precedents.’

Key clients

Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (Recope)

Abbott Medical Costa Rica

Cámara Nacional de Productores y Exportadores de Piña (Canapep)

Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE)

Baxter Productos Médicos

Flex (previously AGM Automotive Costa Rica)

Florida Ice and Farm

Boston Scientific

Proquinal de Costa Rica

Consultora y Constructora de Proyectos y Diseños de Costa Rica (Coprode)

Work highlights

  • Advised Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (Recope) on various environmental issues
  • Advised Abbott Medical Costa Rica on  compliance with environmental health and safety regulations and conducting audits in its facilities
  • Advised the National Pineapple Producers Chamber (Canapep) on auditing production plants and crops to ensure environmental health and safety compliance


The environment group at Arias regularly advises companies on environmental due diligence, environmental management systems, urban zoning and planning, as well as obtaining necessary permits and licences. Department head Carlos Ubico draws on his PPP, public and constitutional law expertise when assisting clients with environmental compliance and long-term planning. He also handles matters related to energy and natural resources, particularly clean energy. Senior associate Alonso Miranda, who is also part of the public and administrative law department, has experience in public procurement and regulatory environmental matters. The team also handles contentious issues, for instance litigation against the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Ubico

Key clients


Amanda Tierra


Green Generation Go


La Asada Pinilla

Real Infraestructure Capitals

Work highlights

  • Advising Enertiva on the analysis and drafting of a model contract related to environmental regulation
  • Representing Amanda Tierra in litigation with the Ministry of Environment and Energy
  • Advising Gildan on requesting an environmental licence needed for construction permits


Litigation and consulting work for NGOs are the focal points of BLP's environmental department. In addition, the team led by Mauricio Salas is regularly instructed to handle environmental planning issues related to tourism developments. Salas is particularly active in litigation related to natural resources, permits and remediation to prevent environmental damage. He receives key support from Andrea González, who advises both national and transnational corporations on environmental matters, and associate Luis Palacios.

Practice head(s):

Mauricio Salas

Key clients


Tabacon Resort and Spa

Aguatica Water Fund

Kani Plant Expansion

Globalvia Ruta 27




Garnier & Garnier


Work highlights

  • Provided regulatory and legal advice to motor oil recycling start-up Metalub
  • Represented ESPH in environmental lawsuits related to the pollution of one of its wells by a gasoline spill
  • Provided legal structuring and regulatory advice to Aguatica, a public-private initiative for handling water management and policy issues