Looking to quarantine in nature? Costa Rica is one of the most eco-tourist-friendly destinations in the world! While many Latin American countries face deforestation due to industrialization or agriculture, Costa Rica has managed to reverse and regrow its forests thanks to dedicated conservationists.
One such conservationist, Pedro Garcia, was featured by CNN for his efforts in preserving the natural landscape on his property. He receives payment from the government for conservation on the land and gives ecotourists guided tours.
In the mid 20th century, Costa Rica lost a staggering amount of its forests in part due to raising cattle which became a massive industry to meet America’s appetite for beef. Then the government stepped in and enacted policies that compensated landowners for conserving nature, and banned forest clearing. The Children’s Eternal Rainforest, an environmentally focused reserve, has a great graphic that shows the decline and resurgence of the country’s forest cover.
The success in reversing deforestation in Costa Rica, while hopeful, may prove to be more difficult in neighboring countries. While many countries have committed to planting more trees, others merely tote the notion for public optics. In Brazil, illegal loggers have continued as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic and President Bolsonaro calls for increased industry to help the region’s economy. Perhaps if he followed in the example set by PES, which pays people to protect forests per hectare in Costa Rica, then they could increase the economy, rainforest, and public approval.
Costa Rica serves as a leader in making eco-friendly policies economically viable. Hopefully, other nations will take note and invest in their own unique ecotourism.