Humanity will never be able to be be as productive as possible, while also protecting and conserving all of nature. If people want to grow the most food possible, they will have to destroy many different ecosystems in order to achieve this goal. On the other hand, if humanity wants to conserve and restore nature to its original state, we must go back to our hunter-gatherer origin.
Sustainability is the process of acting in a way that ensures the needs of current and future generations of humans. There are three types of sustainability; social, economic, and environmental. Social sustainability is ensuring people do not fall into poverty and that all humans are treated equally. Economic sustainability is operating without losing money. Ecological sustainability is operating while improving the natural state of the world around you. In order for something to be truly sustainable, it must fall under all three types of sustainability. Some operations fall under two but not the third type. One example would be an expensive water protection system that gives people and animals clean drinking water. This would be both ecologically and socially sustainable, but the cost would make it economically unsustainable.
Monteverde has its own unique challenges when it comes to sustainability. One such challenge is that it has so many unique species that are exclusive to the small area, and balancing the protection of all of those species is very difficult. Another challenge is the geographical location of Monteverde means it is located directly on top of the continental divide, so all of the water sources in the area provide fresh water to the entire country. This is where the importance of ecological sustainability is shown, because if the water is tainted in any way, it could become undrinkable further downstream.