Costa Rica among Earthshot environmental award winners:

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Costa Rica was named one of the winners of the Earthshot Prize on Sunday, an initiative led by Prince William to recognize environmental stewardship.

The country joined four other winners, and each received a £ 1million prize. Costa Rica won in the “Protect and restore nature” category.

Costa Rica has been awarded the Payment for Environmental Services (PSA), a program that has been instrumental in recovering the country’s forest cover.

As the Earthshot Award explains:

Forests are home to half of our plants and animals and three quarters of our birds. They suck carbon from the air and return the oxygen we breathe. Yet in 2020 more trees were felled than ever, causing 10% of global warming.

In the 1990s, Costa Rica’s vast forests were devastated, half their previous size. But the people of Costa Rica and their environment ministry had a plan to save them. Its programs pay citizens to protect forests, plant trees and restore ecosystems.

The results have been amazing. Costa Rica’s forests have doubled in size. Flora and fauna flourished, resulting in an ecotourism boom, contributing $ 4 billion to the economy.

“This award is an opportunity to strengthen the conservation of our national treasure, Cocos Island, and the waters of the Pacific and Caribbean,” said Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment and Energy, Andrea Meza.

The Earthshot Prize, launched last October, was inspired by US President John F. Kennedy’s “Moonshot” project in the 1960s to send a man to the moon.

Each of the finalists, chosen by experts from among more than 750 applications, benefits from the help of leading private sector companies to develop their projects.

New Earthshot Prize winners will be awarded each year for a decade.


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