Tourists from all over the world regularly come to Costa Rica for discovering its natural wonders. Our country is synonymous with protected areas, beaches, palm trees, forests and volcanoes.
Costa Rica represents approximately 0.03% of the world’s land surface and is home to 6% of the planet’s biodiversity. Additionally, about 25% of the national territory is protected by SINAC (National System of Conservation Areas), which supervises all protected areas in the country.
With all that natural wealth and the hospitality of Costa Ricans, the country decided to make sustainability the cornerstone of tourism, transforming it into a green country with the mechanisms, treaties, policies and laws that are intended to protect the environment.
All this effort has allowed Costa Rica to be awarded different prizes, including the Global Sustainability Forum (GSF) Award for the country’s achievements in environmental matters, for promoting sustainable progress and launching the National Decarbonization Plan, an award which is traditionally given to private companies for their good practices but this is the first time it has been given to a country.
However, Costa Rica still has simple pending challenges, among which we can cite: street cleaning, signage to orient towards the different tourist destinations, placement of garbage cans with their respective colors, toilets, security, to meet the gaps that still persist.
Tourism as an economic sphere is generally combined with other activities. However, in some cases it is the dominant activity, so that a kind of “territorial development model” is produced in which tourism sets the pattern of impact on the natural environment and the socio-cultural environment.
In this context, Costa Rica should promote environmental practices as a sufficient reason to understand that the operation of tourist activity depends on the quality and state of the landscape, implicit in the need for a development model in balance with its environment.
It is clear that environmental education plays a very important role in this process as it seeks to get people to put into practice the objectives of environmental training to preserve ecosystems without damaging the environment.
The cultural issue in a country considered “green” is of great value because it allows defining viable projects and reconciling economic, social and environmental aspects, which seek to meet human needs in terms of employment, food and natural resources without compromising environmental security.
In short, Costa Rica has made tremendous economic and social progress, and much of that success has been based on natural resources. That has generated an impact on ecosystems in order for maintaining the country’s ability to continue growing in a sustainable and inclusive way.