Costa Rica is a consistent worldwide leader in environmental sustainability. With its major agricultural industry, Costa Rica has taken many steps to increase the sustainability of its businesses and plantations as well as insure the well-being of its amazing forests and natural wonders for generations to come.
One of these steps is the use of hydropower and geothermal power to replace carbon-based power plants (coal-burning). This lead to a massive reduction in carbon emissions which is extremely important to maintaining the atmosphere. The switch to carbon free power also gives Costa Rica several sustainable forms of power generation which will last long and have fewer detrimental effects on the environment than carbon based power plants.
Another environmental sustainability initiative Costa Rica has implemented is the ban on recreational hunting. It is often forgotten that environmental sustainability not only includes areas such as water conservation and air pollutants, but also the protection of endangered animals and their habitats. Costa Rica took this into account when they became the first Central American country to place a ban on recreational hunting in 2012. This ban is to protect exotic animals such as jaguars and parrots from poachers who try to sell hunting trips aimed at killing these creatures. This ban does not inhibit the local economy by allowing those locals who are dependent on hunting and fishing as a means of income to continue to do so in some areas.
Costa Rica’s focus on sustainability makes the country seem quite progressive. While agriculture does make appearances throughout many of these reforms, particular crops such as coffee are not identified. I am excited to travel to Costa Rica this summer. I am looking forward to practicing my Spanish, visiting a new part of the world and experiencing a new culture, and learning about engineering concepts in real-world applications. ¡Nos vemos en Costa Rica! ¡Hasta luego!