SUSTAINABILITY: Costa Rica primarily caters to eco-tourism to support the economy and preserve species biodiversity and natural landscape that impacts the world’s well-being.
HISTORY: The end of the military in 1948 was followed by a democratic government and a trend of deforestation that cleared about 80% of Costa Rica’s forests. American industries moved in and exported products contributing to the financial infrastructure supported by coffee and cattle. The global recession of 2008 had a negative impact on the country’s economy. The government and people made a major shift and committed to environmental conservation. Costa Rica was awarded with a Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) program, where 25% of the land has been protected to preserve biodiversity and sustainable forest farming. The commitment has restored the nation’s living natural wealth.
COSTA RICA REVITALIZED: Boarded by the Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Nicaragua, and Panama, Costa Rica housed an ideal export landscape for agriculture and industrial manufactured products at the expense of the environment and wildlife. The government initiated a plan for sustainability to preserve the land’s abundant biodiversity and varied ecological landscapes; including coastlines, rainforests and exquisite mountains. Businesses are now taxed for polluting water and Payment for Environmental Services (PSA) provides landowners an incentive to protect lands. The goal is to become carbon neutral, while up to 90% of their electricity is generated through renewable resources. The country now ranks high on the Environmental Performance Index, Happy Planet Index, and as the greenest country in the world in the 21st century.
ECONONMIC DEVELOPMENT: The primary financial revenue has shifted from dependence on coffee and banana plantations, cattle ranching, and industrial production to eco-tourism. The ecological beauty and environmental sustainable practices must be embraced to support the booming eco-tourism industry.
COSTA RICA PROJECTS: A Debt-for-Nature Swap was collaborated with the United States to protect Costa Rica’s forests. Many non-government organization grants support the agreement.
Costa Rica maintains wildlife refuges, marine sanctuaries, conservation areas, and both biological and national reserves. Volcanoes, waterfalls, and coral reefs are protected habitats of the country. National parks include Corcovado, Tortuguero, and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve that provide habitat for a wide range of plant species, including many species of orchids. Conservation projects include La Amistad International Park, Las Baulas National Marine Park, Ostional Wildlife Refuge, and Piedras Blancas National Park.
Lodges and hotels are eco-friendly as people learn how to live in harmony with their surroundings to lower environmental impacts.
The shift in the economy provides the country with a sustainable source of revenue and way of living for present and future generations.
Elizabeth Armstrong, PhD is an author and owner business owner. Get my book, Align With The Wild, at amazon.com. Check out my Blog: naturemystic.wordpress.com. Join the Edible Garden Challenge: facebook.com/ediblegardenchallenge. Receive Jazzy Eco’s Newsletter through our website: http://www.jazzyeco.com.
Conservation International. <www.conservation.org/>
GoVisit Costa Rica. <www.govisitcostarica.com/>