Costa Rica, the Central American country has been declared as the winners of the 2019 Champions of the Earth Award by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), bestowing upon one of the highest environmental honour known to the international environmental platform. 

Known for its beaches, volcanoes and biodiversity, Costa Rica has pioneered ecotourism drawing tourists to its many extensive national parks and all-around sustainability. According to the UN, the country has successfully placed environmental concerns in the centre of its political and economic strategies in order to attain sustainability, reverse deforestation and is now moving towards using only renewable energy sources. 

costa rica
Tenorio Park waterfall, crystal clear water that comes from the volcano with the same name. Trees surrounding the waterfall.

Costa Rica is a leader in environmental action and sustainability

According to the UN,  98% of Costa Rica’s energy already comes from renewable sources; and the country plans to make this reach 100% by 2030. With the country submitting a detailed plan to decarbonise its economy according to the Paris climate agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2050, Costa Rica hopes to be a leading example in environmental action.

Adding onto Director of the UNEP, Inger Andersen said “Costa Rica has been a pioneer in the protection of peace and nature and sets an example for the region and for the world…..climate change demands urgent and transformative action from all of us. With its ambitious plans to decarbonise the economy, Costa Rica is rising to that challenge”. Already on the list of the World’s Ten Best Ethical Destinations, the country sat on the 44th position on the Travel and Tourism competitiveness report in 2011. 

With Costa Rica being honoured in regards to its policy leadership on the environmental front, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has highlighted the need for such radical global action in order to achieve the net-zero emission goals by 2050 set by the Paris agreement. Now, the question of other countries following remains unanswered.

Read more about sustainable tourism here. 


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