Saturday, October 31, 2009

Costa Rica to become a Carbon Neutral Tourist Destination Right Now.

Costa Rica announced plans to become the world's first carbon-neutral tourist destination.

At a sustainable tourism conference, the country's ecotourism organization (CANAECO) and the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications signed an agreement that puts in place a system to cover the offsetting of tourists' flights.

Visitors to Costa Rica will not be asked to pick up the costs of the carbon offset for their flights (approx. US$10-$30 per tourists) and offset costs will be raised from those businesses who benefit from a tourist visit to Costa Rica - from international tour operators down to the small lodge housing visitors during their stay, making the ecological effort more affordable.

This is just part of Costa Rica's commitment to become carbon-neutral over all by 2021.

While the tourist receives a carbon-offsetting certificate and the money raised will go to the nation's forestry financing fund (FONAFIFA) to plant what will basically be carbon-absorption forests. Most of the trees to be planted will be indigenous, and will have a 20-year lifespan – at that point, the trees pass their maximum carbon-absorbing ability and will be harvested, with the local farmer receiving the profit.

Full and excellent coverage of this story can be seen at the Globe and Mail

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