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    Coasts,Borders and Capital Enter the Red List of Climate Risk in Costa Rica

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    Costa Rica has a new urban planning methodology to try to combat the risks brought by Climate Change, a threat from which no type of region is safe. Borders, coasts and the capital itself are included in the plan’s red list.The process was carried out by the National Institute of Housing and Urban Planning (INVU), which launched the project to feed the regulatory plans.

    To generate more specific policies according to each location, the project used a “Sub-national vulnerability index at the cantonal level.” This determined the risks and, according to their accumulation, the “hot spots” were mapped.

    By comparing 13 layers, climatic extremes such as flood risk and vegetation cover were analyzed.Also access to infrastructure (road density) and health services(distance to hospitals), as well as various socioeconomic factors (level of wealth, employment rates, remittances, literacy rate) and demographic characteristics (infant mortality). All this data is crossed with information on disaster damage in almost a quarter of a century.

    Urban cantons also at risk

    “We found the greatest climate vulnerability not only in the rural and agricultural border cantons (Los Chiles, Matina, Talamanca, Buenos Aires), but also in some central urban cantons (Tibás, San José),” they summarized.According to the indicators obtained, experts maintain that this is how the allocation of resources, evaluation and decision-making should occur.

    “Projects and interventions in these cantons in critical areas can reduce sensitivity by strengthening hydrological infrastructure and economic development; Adaptive capacity can be improved by addressing barriers to the transfer of remittances and by public health programs,” the institution closed.

    The mapping project is titled “Climate change vulnerability hotspots in Costa Rica: constructing a sub-national index”, shared in the same INVU document (Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (2023))

    What to take into account in the face of the climate threat?

    The new guide proposes analysis work adding disaster risks and climate action.With its incorporation into the regulatory plans, it is also sought to have medium and long-term projection.

    Among some lines addressed by the format, they start from identifying and addressing:

    • Threats specific to the canton
    • Most exposed areas
    • Adaptive capacity
    • Environmental services at the service of the town
    • List of risk actions

    Hitting harder

    “The effects of Climate Change are hitting harder and harder within the national territoryand we must act, therefore, this guide guides Local Governments to mitigate these effects and tobuild resilient cantons in the face of these changes,” indicated the president of INVU, Ángela Mata.

    They added that the work included additional entities such as the Ministries of Housing and Environment, the National Emergency Commission, the Meteorological Institute and the Federated College of Engineers and Architects. Assistance was also received from the French Development Agency (AFD).

    Finally, it was noted that the policy is framed in the commitments with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through the “Resilience and Sustainability Service.” In this, a series of measures were defined to guarantee the gradual transfer of resources.

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel https://youtube.com/@resonanceCR

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