Costa Rica aims to be the first developing country to establish permanently funded protected areas.
Located in the curve of land between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica is a place where jaguars still haunt the forests and endangered sea turtles lay their eggs in nests of sand on pristine beaches. Covering less than one-tenth of 1 percent of Earth’s surface, Costa Rica still hosts as much as 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity.
Unfortunately, across the country, overfishing, unregulated tourism, development, colonization, logging and clearing of land for subsistence farms are contributing to loss of forests, water pollution, sedimentation of rivers, die-off of coral reefs and the depletion of marine catch.
Costa Rica’s current marine protected areas are inadequate to support its collapsing fisheries and its national parks suffer from insufficient and uncertain financing. Fortunately, Costa Rica, led by President Oscar Arias, is a pioneering country with a vision that could change the face of global conservation forever.