Frank Izaguirre, TheCostaRicaNews.com.

Costa Rica has been nominated for the international Future Policy Award, a prize honoring legislation that protects forests and ensures better living conditions for current and future generations. The Costa Rica law nominated for the award is Forest Law (7575), enacted in 1996. The law incentivizes landowners to either reforest their land or preserve existing forests by exempting them from several taxes.

A total of 19 forest policies were selected from 16 different countries. Nominations came from Bhutan, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Finland, Gambia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Norway, Rwanda, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States of America and Vietnam. The nominations were submitted by several international organizations, such as the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

future policy award, costa rica forests

Every year, the United Nations General Assembly selects one topic of global importance in which urgent policy change is needed. This year was designated the International Year of Forests, a theme selected by the General Assembly in order “to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation, and sustainable development of all types of forest for the benefit of current and future generations,” according to a statement released on the World Future Council’s website.

The goal of the Future Policy Award is to highlight existing policies that effectively deal with this year’s global issue of forest conservation. Three winning policies will be selected in a ceremony in New York in September 2011.