The Ethics of Costa Rica: Reason #4 to Move to Costa Rica

May 12, 2023 in Discover Costa Rica, Discover Costa Ballena, Life in Costa Rica, Real Estate in Costa Rica

When it comes to everyday ethics, sustainability is a way of life that draws people to want to move to Costa Rica. There is a strong daily practice here of tending to the land, water and inhabitants. The green lands and blue coasts are filled with diverse and important life that inspire many of us who have the pleasure to witness them.


Those who choose to move to Costa Rica are often especially interested in becoming involved in seeing a brighter future today. We are inspired by the best and brightest in our communities and we hope that our government can be reflective of our strongest community values. This is also the dream for many Costa Ricans and the best and brightest are pushing their nation to be the best that it can be.


Renewable energy on the world stage


Costa Rica has a strong focus on being an environmental leader on the world stage. In the United States, renewable energy made up about 15% of the total power consumption in 2016. This figure pre-dates Trump and the Paris Climate Accord. Comparatively, Costa Rica's national grid continues to generate around 99% renewable energy. This paints a good picture of how far advanced Costa Rica's policies are ahead of the world leader. Even progressive Canada reports only generating 66% of the nations power through renewable resources in 2017.


Costa Rica manages this incredibly high figure because the nation’s policies are reflective of the attitude of the people. The opportunity is present to harness the forces of nature that this dynamic landscape is known for and Costa Ricans are choosing to use these opportunities. There is abundant geothermal energy, along with and ample amount of hydro power stations, wind turbines and a growing solar power industry. Costa Rica as a nation continues to choose to grow its economy alongside its use of renewable resources.


The origins of nature reserves in Costa Rica


Costa Rica is a country that is proud of its rich heritage in green activism while accepting that it is still being developed. International expats who come to enjoy the pristine nature and relaxed atmosphere bring with them plenty of concern and care. The idea on many minds is to grow the percentage of land and marine territory dedicated to national parks and reserves. Around 27% of Costa Rica is currently dedicated to preserving the habitats of roughly 5% of the world’s total biodiversity.


Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve in Nicoya became Costa Rica's first national reserve in 1963. The goal of the founder, Olof Wessberg, was to promote and support teaching, research and environmental education. With his great passion and wealth, he began the first major conservation project in the nation.


Until the 1960s, the now reserve was being depleted of its natural forest to be used as farm and pasture land. Emphasis in those days was placed on economic development through the increase of agricultural production ⁠— a trend which began with the United Fruit Company in the 1880s. Little concern was paid to the conservation of natural habitats in Costa Rica at the time.


Olof and his partner, Karen Mogensen, arrived in Costa Rica in the 1960s to pursue their dream of living in harmony with nature. They worked to reforest their newly acquired farm near Montezuma with native tree seeds in the Cabo Blanco area nearby. At the time, this region was an oasis amidst the vastly desertified land that was being used for low-yield pastures and agriculture. The couple sought to protect this natural jewel by buying 3,100 acres of land and turning it into the first protected area in all of Costa Rica.


National investment in the Southern Zone


UNESCO’s International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme met in June of 2017 to add Costa Rica’s Savegre Reserve to its World Network of Biosphere Reserves. According to the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), this reserve is home to 20% of Costa Rica’s flora, 54% of the country’s mammals, and 59% of the birds. This area is home to some 50,000 people, many of whom primarily subsist on either eco-tourism, agriculture or aquaculture.


This designation was made possible by the hard fought efforts of the people in this region. In 2015, former President Solis signed an executive decree that banned dams from the Savegre River for at least 25 years, thus protecting this networked region that stretches from Manuel Antonio to the Costa Ballena. This is the fourth designation of its kind in the country, although it is the first to include coastal marine areas.


Creating something from something


People all over Costa Rica love to work with their hands and to create things from their land. Everywhere in this country, you will find craftspeople making food, clothing, utensils and anything else you might want or need. There is a love for this land and for using its abundance to create a simpler, possibly better world. People here are conscious that there is not a need to transport items from all over the world to sustain us and there is a big push to return to nature and local. Ferias (farmer's markets) are an important part of local economies, serving to sustain commerce within the community to a high level.


A new type of humanity


In addition to the initiatives involving the protection of the nature out there, Costa Rica’s progressive ideals extend to civil rights. Especially when compared to its nearest neighbors, the democratically-elected government of Costa Rica stands out, continually working on achieving the highest civil standards set by the first world.


This is a nation with no military. Government spending that would traditionally go to the military is instead allotted to universal health care and education. Literacy rates are among the highest in the world and Costa Rican workers are some of the highest paid in Latin America. And for many who care about everyday ethics, this is a big reason for them to want to move to Costa Rica.


Gay marriage is not yet legal but the current government guarantees that it will be by May 26, 2020. Same sex unions are, however, legally recognized. The courts have deemed that the outdated constitution holds no baring over such matters. Costa Ricans are generally open-minded and accepting, despite being a largely conservative Catholic nation. They leave the door open for policies to grow quickly with the times.


Can you see yourself living in this land of eco-ethics and sustainable culture? Do you want to move to Costa Rica? Contact our office to learn more about how our agents can help you live your best life in Costa Rica! sales@osatropicalproperties.com


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