While most nations preach about sustainability but fail to follow through on the bulk of their promises, Costa Rica leads by example and has been doing so for decades. Long before sustainability was a trend, Costa Rica realized the importance of protecting its natural resources, in part because of their uniqueness. Costa Rica only takes up 0.03% of the Earth’s surface, but the small Latin American nation contains 5% of the world’s land-based biodiversity and 3.5% of its marine life. Since the 1980s, Costa Rica has taken the reigns and become a global leader in environmental protection and combating climate change. To find out how Costa Rica is Leading the Global Charge in Sustainability, continue reading below.
Biodiversity worth protecting
As we mentioned above, Costa Rica contains an enormous amount of biodiversity. Within Costa Rica’s borders, you will find 112 volcanoes (5 active), 2 oceans, 12 distinct microclimates, 250 species of mammals, and 900 different bird species. A visit to Costa Rica is like traveling to another planet. Within the small country, a traveler can explore tropical rain forests, cloud forests, mangroves, waterfalls, and more. Costa Rica may be known for its stunning beaches, but the country’s interior is home to mountainous, volcanic peaks that reach as high as 12,532 ft.
In the 1940s, nearly 75% of Costa Rica’s land was covered in rain forests. Then a logging boom took place, and much of the land was cleared to grow crops and livestock. It’s estimated that by 1987 between one-third and one-half of the Costa Rica rainforest was destroyed. Realizing the gross misstep that had taken place, the government intervened to restore and preserve the existing rain forests. In 1996, the Costa Rican government outlawed logging without approval from authorities. The next year, the government introduced the Payments for Environmental Services (PES) Program. Today, Costa Rica has successfully reversed its deforestation by 200%. Nearly 60% of the land in Costa Rica is once again forest is home to around half a million plant and animal species.
Utilizing Renewable Resources
In addition to reversing deforestation, Costa Rica prioritizes using renewable energy to curb its fossil fuel dependence. Costa Rica produces nearly 90% of its electricity from renewable resources. The country plans to be completely carbon neutral by the end of this year, which would make Costa Rica the first carbon-neutral country in Latin America.
Protected land today
Beyond its monumental deforestation reversal, Costa Rica prioritizes protecting its natural wonders. 30% of Costa Rica’s land is protected in some fashion, either as national parks, land reserves, or wildlife refuges.
A model for the future
As one of the world’s leading nations when it comes to environmental protection, land conservations, and combating climate change, Costa Rica has paved the way for others to follow. Within the travel and tourism industry, Costa Rica encourages and promotes eco-friendly. practices that allow travelers and locals alike to enjoy the natural wonders of the country for many years to come. At Safari Surf School, we’ve adopted many eco-friendly policies that are aimed at preserving the beauty of Nosara for us and others to enjoy. To find out more about our sustainability goals, take a look at our recent blog post here.
If you’re ready to book your surf trip or want to customize a package, head to our website. We’ll see you in the water!