The Culture of Environmentalism in Costa Rica

May 11, 2023 in Discover Costa Rica, Life in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has taken on the challenge of leading scientific and technological development within the framework of environmentalism in Costa Rica. Researchers, government institutes and the private sector are all working towards the improvement of the quality of life in general, especially of the most marginalized and vulnerable sectors of society. They are looking for alternative solutions to the problems of balancing environmental sustainability with increasing wealth distribution to local communities.


Costa Rica is located between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and is famous for its fresh seafood and its coffee. The population of Costa Rica is of multi-ethnic ancestry, with rich cultural manifestations including dance, legends, string songs, colonial instruments, and traditional songs. Indigenous, European, Afro-Caribbean and Asian influences come together to create a medley of culture, newly blending with Western culture through more recent expat immigration. But environmentalism in Costa Rican is a cultural movement growing in influence, however new it may be in the grand scheme.


The culture of environmentalism in Costa Rica


This week, Costa Rica inaugurated its 29th national park at Miravalles Volcano in celebration of World Environment Day. President Carlos Alvarado ceremoniously decreed that a protected area in Guanacaste would become Miravalles National Park, further protecting species at risk of extinction, like the Central American tapir.


Meanwhile, the Costa Rican government is presently preparing itself to host the preceding meeting to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25). The main event is set take place in Chile in October. Both meetings serve to “promote the work that Chile and Costa Rica have done for decarbonization, and to consolidate Latin American leadership in the global agenda of Climate Change,” according to the Presidential House. Their collaborative goal is to strengthen actions and solutions in the carbon market.


Environmentalism is at the forefront of the everyday Costa Rican's mindset and it permeates culture and politics more every day. One notable organization working on environmental sustainability in Costa Rica is the Simón Bolívar Zoological Park and Botanical Garden in downtown San Jose. They currently have over 100 native species of trees and shrubs planted in the small park. And from 2007 to 2017, the number of avian species increased by nearly 52% to 88 species.


Environmentalism in Costa Rica's governmental institutes


Costa Rica has also launched the online platform, Costa Rica Silvestre, which is tasked to publish news about ongoing conservation efforts in the country. Working with the Environment and Energy Ministry (MINAE) and the Education Ministry, their goal is to “promote the development of an environmental culture that facilitates the reach of sustainability, adaptation to climate change and the conservation of biodiversity,” according to President Alvarado.


MINAE has the goal of improving the quality of life in Costa Rica by promoting conservation and sustainable development. Through this organization, the government works to position itself as internationally competitive and protective of environmental and natural resources.


ICE, or the Institute of Energy in Costa Rica, has suspended energy imports in May of this year, and is exporting energy steadily. May 2019 has become the highest month for energy production in Costa Rica’s history. Thanks to successful improvements in the national grid, ICE is able to protect reservoirs in dry periods by increasing geothermal energy production. During the whole of last month, 984.19 gigawatt hours were generated.


Since 2015, Costa Rica has exceeded 98% renewable energy usage in the national grid. This trend is being maintained in 2019 in spite of the El Niño phenomenon, and will increase during the rainy season. Nearly 100% of Costa Rica’s energy comes from five renewable sources: water, geothermal energy, sun, wind and biomass.


Environmentalism in the Private Sector


The private sector is getting involved in environmental sustainability as well. Companies like Café Britt are working to protect Costa Rica’s wildlife. Partnering with the Toucan Rescue Ranch to rescue sloths, Café Britt’s volunteers want to give released animals a better chance to survive by reforesting with native species.


In conjunction with environmentalism in Costa Rica, the government is fulfilling its economic goals by attracting successful global corporations to open offices in Costa Rica. Leading software company Wind River is one of the newest businesses to expand operations into Costa Rica’s growing tech sector. Known as the Silicon Valley of Latin America, Wind River is joining over 800 high-tech companies in San José, the capital of Costa Rica. Microsoft, Cisco and others all take advantage of Costa Rica’s free-trade zones, existing infrastructure and a highly literate population.


“Wind River’s decision to open an office in Costa Rica was based on its great economic climate and nascent technology sector; it’s also a place where we know our company culture can thrive,” said Jim Douglas, Wind River president and chief executive officer. “Costa Rica has proven to have a deep pool of world-class tech talent, and we’re excited to build a strong foundation there with the high-impact team we have in place.”


According to Dick Fowler, the retired owner of the Foreign Investment Group in Costa Rica, manufacturers tend to gravitate to where they can maximize profits. Thanks to new tariffs on Chinese imports in the USA, says Fowler, "Costa Rica is able to export more medical devices, computers, washing machines, cell phones, toys, and more."


To learn more about environmentalism in Costa Rica, or what this amazing country has to offer you and how you can make this your future home, contact an agent from our team today at sales@osatropicalproperties.com


Login or register to comment
Recent articles