Meet Fernando Mora from Costa Rica



Fernando Mora is current Vice minister of Water, Seas, Coasts and Wetlands at the Ministry of Environment of Costa Rica. He is the third youngest member of the Cabinet at 27 years. Professionally he is a geographer with a Masters Degree in Integrated Coastal Management from the University of Costa Rica. He has developed his professional skills in Geomorphology, Geographic Information Systems, Disaster Risk Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Local Community Development.

As a researcher, he has worked in communities located in areas around estuaries and wetlands who depend on these ecosystems for livelihood. He has also participated in the NGO, where he worked for five years in projects to empower youth to take climate action by creating awareness and building capacities.

What is your motivation in water sector?

My motivation comes with an idea to get people encouraged to protect, conserve and make sustainable use of water resources through local community actions, to guaranty its quality and proper management. We need everybody motivated; children, youth and adults, to achieve a good water management and be part of a network of conservation and sustainable use. Achieving this motivation is one of my key challenges as well.

What projects/campaigns/works related to water you are leading (or you have led)?

We have begun to define policy instruments to reduce impacts on rivers, coastal areas and marine environment resulting from human activities. The Vice ministry of Water, Seas, Coasts and Wetlands has the responsibility to lead the national water policy of Costa Rica. We are also focusing on establishing the management of the Marine Spatial Planning and contribute in the planning of the territory by the development of policies, strategies and plans, to achieve a healthy environment and ecologically balanced, ensuring the welfare and human safety as well as the sustainability and productivity of the ecosystems.

What do you think is the greatest water related challenge in your region and how can it be addressed?

There are several aspects that must be addressed regarding the water issue:

  • We have to achieve a holistic view of the water and understand that the resource is not static; it is dynamic and operates in a system (the water cycle). The activities that occur in the higher parts of the basin affect the basin below, the coastal areas and beyond, in marine ecosystems.
  • Is extremely important to raise awareness on addressing the issues regarding the management of solid waste and treatment of the discharged water. This is a factor of vulnerability and risk in health, deterioration of the landscape and the environment.
  • Environmental education must place water as a matter of high priority. Now more than ever it should be clear that the resource is exhaustible and that is extremely vulnerable. We must keep it for all generations and manage it with long term vision.
  • We must manage the existing water with the awareness of factors of pressure and threat as ENSO, climate variability and global climate change.

What one message you want to share with other water youth leaders?

Youth around the world need to take care of the improvement of existing policies and influence the creation of new policies to resource governance, strengthening and empowerment of coastal communities and ecosystems management. They also should be concerned about the water resource management to climate change adaptation, awareness raising; monitoring and surveillance, verification of compliance of the legal framework and the definition of direct channels to work together with other ministries, institutions and actors.F.Mora - Copy