Costa Rica: Country receives prestigious award for biodiversity laws


At an awards ceremony in Nagoya, Japan at the COP10 Biodiversity summit Costa Rica and Australia have been recognised for their efforts in safeguarding biodiversity for future generations.

As a country Costa Rica has come to symbolise the reverse of rainforest decline. From forest cover of only 24 per cent in 1985 the country now has almost 50 per cent tree cover. Much of this remarkable turnaround can be attributed to the 1998 biodiversity law, which ultimately bagged the tiny country the prestigious Future Policy Award 2010 prize.

With 26% of its total territory designated as protected areas, Costa Rica is the first developing that succeeded in halting and reversing deforestation. Moreover, the country ranked first in the Happy Planet Index 2009, and is a recognised pioneer in ecotourism. However, not all is perfect in Costa Rica. It has become the largest producer of pineapples in the world; its hot, wet climate making it perfect for this valuable fruit. But this growth has come at a cost. Trees are felled, unlike bananas they aren't grown under shade plants, and pollution from intensive pesticide use is high.

The Future Policy Award, established by the World Future Council, annually celebrates laws with particularly positive effects on the living conditions of current and future generations. The first award to honour exemplary policies rather than exceptional people on an international level, it highlights solutions, raises public awareness and speeds up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies. This year’s award gala was hosted by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), as an official part of the tenth Conference of the Parties (COP10).

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World Future Council

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