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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Cappello

Costa Rica Leads the Way on Sustainability

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

One of the many reasons we love Costa Rica is because the country is dedicated to sustainability in ways which are helping to preserve the environment, and better the lives of all who live here (and those who visit too!). Costa Rica is often described as being one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world. With so much at stake, we take a keen interest in this topic. The tourism industry is highly dependent on the preservation efforts of the country and we are committed to being good stewards of our environment.

Champions of the Earth!

In 2019 Costa Rica received the Champions of the Earth award, which is the highest environmental honor bestowed by the United Nations. This award was in recognition of the exemplary efforts being taken by Costa Rica to combat climate change. For a country of just over 5 million people, it has established an ambitious plan to decarbonize the country’s economy by 2050!

Costa Rica’s strategy for long-term sustainable development is comprehensive. Here are just a few of its goals:

  • The decarbonization of the economy

  • Building resiliency of human and natural systems through planning

  • Investing in sustainability-related research and development

  • Building an inclusive, modern, green, and emission-free economy

  • Establish climate-resistant public services and infrastructure

Sustainability by the Numbers

Here are some impressive statistics to get excited about:

  • Over half of the country is now covered with a canopy of trees, thanks to a successful reforestation effort! This has increased access to shelter and food for so many wildlife species.

  • Costa Rica has 28 national parks and protected areas which cover over 25% of the country’s land surface. This commitment to wild spaces is exemplary and bodes well for our future.

  • Costa Rica is 98% free of deforestation, which lowers the country’s carbon footprint and mitigates climate change.

  • Costa Rica’s recycling rate increased 469% between 2015 and 2017. This is largely the result of a successful “pay to throw” program which charges residents based on the weight of the waste they generate.

  • The economy has transformed to a green economy, which fuels tourism, and promotes sustainability initiatives.

  • Costa Rica generates 98% of its electricity from renewable sources including hydro, geothermal (think volcanoes!), wind, and solar power .

  • Green policies such as a 3.5% tax on fossil fuels generate $26.4 million per year.

  • The country’s public transportation system is largely eco-friendly now.

Phew! That’s a lot to take in. Want to learn more? All of the guides we employ on our tours are certified, having completed a tourism course of more than 1,000 hours. And many have taken additional courses on biology, botany, ornithology, herpetology and geology. They love to share their knowledge and their love for Costa Rica. We look forward to seeing you on one of our tours! For those interested in sustainability, you might enjoy our Blue Zone Tour, or our Santa Rosa National Park Tour. Find these, and others by visiting our Tours Page here.

For information about all of our services, visit our home page. Thanks for stopping by!


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