Costa Rica is known in the last decades for its advances in environmental awareness. The country has had great numbers in green technology since its promise to be in 2021 the first carbon neutral nation worldwide. Achieving 299 days of non-carbon energy use is no easy task, and one of the unsung heroes actively works to preserve marine species, Randall Arauz.
He was chosen in 2013 as one of the 100 Angels in the planet for his efforts in maintaining nature. Arauz is a marine biologist that has dedicated his professional career to conserve the life of more than 15 species of sharks. In the last 50 years, its population has declined more than 50% due to overfishing.
Ten years after obtaining his degree, Arauz founded in 1997 the Non-Governmental Agency PRETOMA, which stands as Association for the Restoration of Sea Turtles. Once a turtle conservationist, he made major contributions on this area. Later he swayed his interest to shark protection when he learned how the fishing technique operated.
Since then his efforts have been most important for the protection of the species. In 2003, he exposed a Taiwanese ship responsible for the death of 30,000 sharks. For this, he received local and international support to enforce Costa Rican laws against shark finning.
As he continued his campaign in his nation, Arauz became close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Congress to establish a United Nations ban on shark finning. His efforts were awarded on 2007 when the UN General Assembly approved that all shark fins be landed to the body of the shark, meaning a definite win for Arauz and other environmental activists in the world.
In 2010 he was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for Central and South America. This award is also known as the “Environmental Nobel”. He currently works as the International Director of the Turtle Restoration Network and publishes scientific papers for environment use and awareness.
“Who can be better Guardian Angels than the kids themselves?” asked Randall Arauz in 2013 after he received the award and was named a Guardian Angel for his country at the Founding Congress for the Green Games.
“We have to create awareness and provide training through all means possible so that starting from a very young age, and all the way into adulthood, they also become Guardian Angels for the planet, no matter what career path they follow.” Those were his words towards future generations that plan to make a better world.