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Follow the green leader: why everyone from Prince William to Jeff Bezos is looking to Costa Rica | Costa Rica

If there had been a recognition contest at Cop26, the Costa Rican president, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, would have been a transparent winner. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeff Bezos, Boris Johnson and Prince William all wished to communicate with the chief of the tiny Central American nation, keen to delight in its green glow.

The local weather summit in Glasgow was, in impact, Costa Rica’s Tremendous Bowl, one other probability to exhibit its spectacular environmental credentials. It is the solely tropical nation that has efficiently halted and reversed deforestation, a dedication dozens of others made at Cop26 however are far from attaining.

Costa Rica, which celebrated its bicentenary in 2021, is aiming for complete decarbonisation by 2050 – not only a internet zero goal – and is serving to lead the world on efforts to defend 30% of the Earth by the finish of this decade. From Christiana Figueres, who was head of the UN local weather conference that achieved the Paris settlement in 2015, to Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, chief government of the Global Environment Facility, Costa Ricans are routinely present in worldwide management positions on the surroundings.

Quesada was happy with Costa Rica’s report when he spoke with the Guardian in early 2021. However in his remaining interview at Cop26, after an exhausting schedule, Quesada cautioned that his nation’s instance shouldn’t be taken as a blueprint for others to observe.

‘Dantita’ the tapir in Braulio Carrillo National Park, close to San José in central Costa Rica.
A tapir in Braulio Carrillo nationwide park, close to San José. Costa Rica’s coverage of paying residents to defend and restore ecosystems is credited with reversing deforestation charges, which threaten the species. {Photograph}: Michiel van Noppen/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Yr

“The Costa Rican instance ought not to be taken actually. Take no matter is good that now we have, but additionally adapt it domestically. The factor about our instance is the chance of change and never the specific change itself,” he mentioned. “We have now seen the world make world choices in Glasgow however we can’t be tempted by the concept that they could be a one dimension matches all resolution.”

In October, Costa Rica was amongst the 5 inaugural Earthshot prize winners for its coverage to pay residents to defend standing forest and restore ecosystems. The scheme is credited with serving to reverse one in every of the worst deforestation charges in the world at the time by altering the value of clearing bushes for espresso, banana and pineapple plantations, recognising that forests are value extra alive than useless. The coverage has led to an ecotourism increase.

However Quesada, who is coming to the finish of his time period as president, doesn’t need to cease there. He acknowledges Costa Rica is “green – however not blue”, prompting the announcement at Cop26 of his nation’s involvement in an unlimited new marine-protected space.

“The extra we offer an instance, the extra ethical and political leverage there is for others to observe. That’s our method,” he says.

In Glasgow, Denmark and Costa Rica launched the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (Boga) to velocity up the finish of the fossil gasoline trade, attracting intense media consideration. Whereas the initiative was arrange by a small group of nations that had already dedicated to phasing out fossil fuels, it is hoped a coalition of the prepared can translate into world change.

Costa Rica’s environment minister, Andrea Meza appears on screen as Kate, the Duchess, of Cambridge announces the Republic of Costa Rica as the winner of the Earthshot prize protect and restore nature award in London, October 2021
Surroundings minister Andrea Meza seems on display screen as the Duchess of Cambridge proclaims Costa Rica as winner of the Earthshot defend and restore nature award. {Photograph}: Yui Mok/AFP/Getty

Andrea Meza, Costa Rica’s surroundings minister who helped announce Boga, says profitable the Earthshot prize was a second of nationwide unity akin to profitable a soccer match. She underscores the significance of mixing the inherent worth of nature with monetary realities to guarantee its safety, together with environmental schooling for all residents.

“What now we have discovered from the Costa Rican case is that you simply want to put nature in as a part of your improvement mannequin. It’s not about improvement and defending nature. It’s understanding that nature wants to be a part of the type of improvement that you really want. We understood that,” she says.

“After one or two generations, you’ll see the change. We are able to see the completely different species: the sloth, the hummingbird … and we really feel proud.”

Discover extra age of extinction protection right here, and observe biodiversity reporters Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield on Twitter for all the newest information and options

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