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Leader's vision & commitment. Oscar Arias & Costa Rica: planted 6.5 million trees by 2008 while spending $0 on military


By WcP.System.Thinker - Posted on 04 December 2009

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias shoveled dirt onto the roots of an oak tree planted in the grounds of his offices, reaching the milestone in the Central American nation's efforts to ward off what some experts say are the first signs of climate change.

(quote)

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias planted the 5 millionth tree of the year near his office in the capital San Jose, By the end of 2007, Costa Rica has planted nearly 6.5 million trees, which should absorb 111,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. The goal for 2008 was to plant 7 million trees as part of the newly launched project in order to make the biodiversity nation carbon neutral. Costa Rica constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949.

Left: ’Vines had grown up and over a dead tree to form a heart shape.  I realized then that this heart is a symbol of Costa Rica.  Costa Ricans have put so much effort into saving their rainforest and their land.  Preservation is one of the main focuses for the Costa Rican people.  The rainforest really is where their heart is.’; Right: Arenal volcano spits lava on a regular basis.

Costa Rica Plants 5 Million Trees to Combat Climate Change

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias planted the 5 millionth tree of the year near his office in the capital San Jose. Costa Rica is aiming to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero, and has set a target date of 2021. "I don't know if we will end up being carbon neutral in 2021 as we have proposed, but the important thing is the audacity of the goal and the work we have to do," Arias said. The effort is spurred in part by the perilous signs of global warming that have already appeared in the Central American nation. Costa Rican scientists have blamed the loss of more than a dozen amphibian species, including the shiny yellow "golden toad", on higher temperatures caused by global warming.

By the end of 2007, Costa Rica will have planted nearly 6.5 million trees, which should absorb 111,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, Environment Minister Roberto Dobles said. The country aims to plant 7 million trees in 2008 as part of the newly launched program.

Left: This looks like an insect-devouring Venus Flytrap but actually it is a Dutchman's Pipe Vine (Aristolochia sp.); Right: insects, flowers and flower-plants, not least 1,200 species of orchids

Costa Rica tree-planting ‘carbon neutral’ project

Costa Rica has announced plans to embark on a tree-planting project in order to make the biodiversity hotspot nation carbon neutral. The goal for 2008 is to plant seven million trees, which officials say will equate to 1.5 trees per person.

The Costa Rica Conservation Trust, which is not directly connected to this proejct, says nearly 26% of the nation’s land is protected in the form of national parks and private preserves, and holds around 6% of the world’s bio-diversity.

But the Trust adds that there are few corridors of protected areas to link together the national parks and reserves and illegal loggers and poachers seek out farmers and landowners boardering national parks by offering them bribes for access through their properties and into the national parks and reserves.

Here is the report from AFP: Costa Rica will plant seven million trees in 2008 to soak up as many greenhouse gas emissions as it produces, in a bid to become the world’s first carbon neutral nation, a top official said Monday.

Top: a Clearwing butterfly feeding. Sometimes known as a Glasswing; Bottom: Tree-planting at ECOPIÑAS del Arenal in Costa Rica

“The stated goal is to be the first neutral country as far as greenhouse gas emissions is concerned,” said Energy and Environment Minister Roberto Dobles. “To get there, this administration is betting on halting deforestation and on the ‘Plant a Tree’ project,” he added, referring to an ongoing government initiative to plant as many trees as possible in the country. The project aims to “plant seven million trees this year, meaning that in our country there would be 1.5 trees for each Costa Rican. He added that in 2007 the country managed to plant five million trees, spurred by the desire to forestall an impending environmental catastrophe.

“Climate change is the main threat facing humanity and, even so, the world still can’t agree to fight this problem,” Dobles said. Every country can help in the struggle, even a small nation like his own, Dobles said. “We all know developed countries and big developing nations like China, Brazil and India are chiefly responsible for most of the greenhouse gases that destroy the ozone layer. That doesn’t mean a country like Costa Rica should stand by doing nothing. On the contrary, we’re working on a series of initiatives on the national and global levels to lessen the impact” of climate change, the minister said.

Glassy wild thing making a living off flowers, a glass frog, transparently.

Costa Rica plants 5 million trees

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Costa Rica, a leader in eco-tourism and home to some of the world's rarest species, planted its 5 millionth tree of 2007 on Wednesday as it tries to put a brake on global warming.

Climate Change Program

Considering the policies related to environment, energy, and telecommunications included in the “National Development Plan” establishes as sectoral goal an agenda about climate change, a priority agenda at national & international level.

Beside this agenda Costa Rica has the initiative “Peace with Nature” proposed, motivated and implemented by the President of the Republic Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez. The initiative contemplates climate change as a priority action and the Central Government has a serious commitment to achieve “Carbon Neutrality” by 2021. Also a “National Strategy on Climate Change” has been set in motion as recognition of our concern together with all humankind, about climate change and its effects in our country in particular.

Left: La Fortuna Waterfalls & Rainforest, Costa Rica; Top right: Óscar Arias Sánchez in the 1980s

This Strategy spins around five axes, as follows:
1. Mitigation of GHG by reducing emissions by sources and increasing absorption by sinks.
2. Rigorous analysis of vulnerability and definition of measures for adaptation.
3. Inventory of GHG by means of a clear, accurate, complete, reliable, verifiable and comparable system.
4. Capacity building at national level.
5. Public awareness, training and education.

National Strategy
This is a Strategy making history; it has to be implemented by an “Action Plan” for the orientation of the national policies and measures from local governments. Then the national needs can be fulfilled by following a systematic development model for national and regional application helping mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

This project makes our actions to meet the goals in a clear and motivating manner in the public and private sectors. Then, Costa Rica will be the first nation in the world to achieve “Carbon Neutrality” by 2021.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of TreeHugger, TopNews.in, studyabroad.tcu.edu / Anne Schruba / Santa Elena Costa Rica, Costa Rica Pictures / Bugbog.com, doleorganic.blogspot.com, Alvaro Pantoja / Dreamstime.com, ninahonawar.com, www.southernexplorations.com, and Wikipedia

Original Source: Costa Rica Plants 5 Million Trees to Combat Climate Change, Take Cover, TreeHugger, Wikipedia, and Climate Change Program

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