Environmentalism in Costa Rica
In a time of global environmental degradation, Costa Rica has been a leading force in successful environmental protection. With a combination of ethics, environmentalism, and effective government policy, Costa Rica has transformed from the most deforested area to now recovering over half its rainforest.In the past, like most poverty struck areas, Costa Rica has strived to improve its economy on a global scale and encourage economic development. Foreign debt and expanding global markets drove the country to deforestation. The United States’ high demand for beef lead to 60 percent of Costa Rica’s land being cleared to allow for more cattle ranching between the years 1950-2003.It was soon realized that something needed to be done to save a place that contained four percent of the worlds biodiversity. Costa Rica set goals to impede the loss of natural habitats, conserve 17 percent of its land and inland water, and restore ten percent of degraded area and carbon neutrality by 2021. Putting actions into words, the state now has 40 percent of its land under protection of law and 99.2 percent of the energy used in the country is from renewable sources. Costa Rica is now one of the top destinations in the world for ecological tourism.The people of Costa Rica knew of the precious resources their nation contained and worked hard to make sure those resources would no longer be over-exploited. Costa Rica has taken human progress to the next level. They prove that with education and effective government budgeting, you can not only support and maintain and entire ecosystem, but improve your economy as well.  As one of the happiest countries in the world, Costa Rica is an example that leading good lives can be accomplished while reducing consumption and one’s carbon footprint.– Taylor Schaefer

Sources: Viva Costa Rica, United Nations University, The Guardian