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Biodiversity Conservation in Costa Rica

Biodiversity Conservation in Costa Rica

Sustainable development is to face climate change, water shortage, social inequalities and famine with empathy accompanied by social progress, environment balance and economic growth. The United Nations approved an Agenda with sustainable development practices globally  to guarantee everybody´s wellness but it needs involved people to protect the planet for it to work out with the best results.


While facing climate change right here and right now, humans have to reconsider what each one is doing to impact negatively their own environment and, from self-consciousness, start to make changes in habits.


Climate change is the most scary challenge for all the lives on Earth, there are more bad gas emissions (increase of 50% since 1990), higher temperatures that cause species of animals and plants to be in danger and other consequences that should be relevant but are not being addressed.


In Costa Rica, the SINAC (Conservation Areas National System) is responsible for the biodiversity of the country. They join forces with public and private entities to protect the flora and fauna, some of the most important projects and their focus are:


  • Parque Internacional La Amistad. A biosphere project.
  • Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas. Protection and nesting site for Baulas turtles.
  • Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas. Jungle and biodiversity conservation place.
  • Parque Nacional Tortuguero. Different types of turtles are protected and conserved.


Thanks to private institutions, the protected territory in Costa Rica has improved and increased. These private reserves are dedicated mostly to ecotourism and also investigation. The government is doing their part too by providing assistance and permits for the private spaces to be at the standard levels of the rest of the country.


On the other hand, we have protected spaces being appropriated by big international hotels, neglected by the government, permits not approved in an acceptable timeframe by the bureaucracy, illegal hunting and pet trade, vast amounts of trash and so on. Costa Rica still has a lot to do to preserve wildlife.


SINAC hands are tied because they normally don’t have the financial resources to provide real solutions for all the protected areas. But they do all they can with the tools they have. They have issues as well to coordinate decisions with other ministries like the Agriculture and Livestock and with the Costa Rican Fishing and Aquaculture Institute. Sometimes, the deputies of the Legislative Assembly approve laws that harm biodiversity and all the efforts to protect it.


The University of Costa Rica is very emphatic to point out that the country needs:


  • Better laws, without legal loopholes so terrestrial and aquatic wildlife is actually protected and protected territory isn´t invaded by houses, hotels or parking lots (which is happening right now).
  • More effective communication between government hierarchs related to nature and its protection doesn´t matter from where the orders are coming from, the country goes the same direction.
  • The country needs to create incentives for companies, like public recognition, so biodiversity has more allies in normal everyday practices.
  • More budget for investigation.


It seems like a really unfixable problem but it is possible if every person does something o some things to help: You can start by recycling, ask for less plastic, buying local products like fruits and vegetables, don´t participate in fast-fashion purchases, volunteering to clean parks or rivers, trying to generate the minimum amount of trash, and any other thing you can think to stop the climate change.


Karen Ebanks

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