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

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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 needed to converse 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 Super 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 whole decarbonisation by 2050 – not only a web 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 setting.

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

‘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 Year

“The Costa Rican example ought not to be taken literally. Take whatever is good that we have, but also adapt it locally. The thing about our example is the possibility of change and not the particular change itself,” he stated. “We have seen the world make global decisions in Glasgow but we cannot be tempted by the idea that they can be a one size fits all solution.”

In October, Costa Rica was among the five 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 among 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 price extra alive than lifeless. The coverage has led to an ecotourism growth.

But 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 – but not blue”, prompting the announcement at Cop26 of his nation’s involvement in a vast new marine-protected space.

“The more we provide an example, the more moral and political leverage there is for others to follow. That’s our approach,” he says.

In Glasgow, Denmark and Costa Rica launched the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (Boga) to pace up the finish of the fossil gas business, attracting intense media consideration. While the initiative was arrange by a small group of countries 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
Environment minister Andrea Meza seems on display screen as the Duchess of Cambridge publicizes Costa Rica as winner of the Earthshot defend and restore nature award. Photograph: Yui Mok/AFP/Getty

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

“What we have learned from the Costa Rican case is that you need to put nature in as part of your development model. It’s not about development and protecting nature. It’s understanding that nature needs to be part of the kind of development that you want. We understood that,” she says.

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

Find extra age of extinction coverage here, and comply with biodiversity reporters Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield on Twitter for all the newest information and options



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