Climbing through the Clouds

During the lecture today, we learned about the different interests and opinions of more native ticos versus the quakers. Don Guillermo’s talk today seemed more realistic and addressed the real issues of climate change that come from tourism, raising livestock, etc.

The conflicting interests productivity, conservation, and sustainability are complex issues. What I understood from the lectures, was that the issues of productivity don’t have a clear cut answer. From the quakers point of view, they saw their settlement as a good cultural thing for the land and people. They did bring a big dairy industry to the area that, I’m sure, was a significant convenience and help to the locals. However, the grazing and clearing of trees for the cattle did damage to the ecosystem. I think it’s unfortunate but somewhat inevitable. The way Don Guillermo explained their process, though, seemed more eco friendly. They let cows graze in a certain cleared path and plant trees around. They’re (native ticos) more geared towards a sustainable approach to agriculture.

Monte Verde and other areas of Costa Rica face issues of making a living based off conservation of their land. Some of the land is used to raise cattle, grow coffee, etc. That industry brings in significant money for the region. Another recently growing industry is tourism. They must maintain the diverse ecosystem while also bringing money to the region. This can be challenging sometimes when tourists aren’t always aware and educated of the eco footprints they can leave. Leaving plastic, using electricity, water, etc. all could contribute to pollution. If I had to prioritize one of the three, I would choose sustainability. I think the growth of our population and use of natural resources is inevitable and the solution is to figure out sustainable ways to progress.

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