COSTA RICA NEWS – Costa Rica was the only county in Central America and Mexico to increase its forest cover over the last 20 years, going from 50% in 1990 to 52% in 2011.
The information comes from the 2014 Statistical Yearbook of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), comparing the evolution of forests in different countries, using data from the Evaluation of Global Forest Resources (FRA).
In total, by 2011, the country had 2,628,000 acres of forest, 64,000 more than twenty years before. The increase amounts a combined area of the Corcovado National Park, Poas Volcano and the Monteverde Biological Reserve.
The FAO report notes that for the same period in Central America forest cover dropped five percentage points on average, although countries such as Honduras and Nicaragua showed a fall of 38 and 33 percent, respectively.
According to data from Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy (Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía, MINAE), the provinces with the highest amount of ground covered with forests are Limon and Puntarenas, since each allocates 11% of its territory to planting trees.
To continue the upward trend, Gilbert Canet, general manager of the Desarrollo Forestal del Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación, the country will be developing a Forest Development Program to give support to farm owners who want to reforest.