Tuesday 26 September 2023

Costa Rica wins prestigious Earthshot Prize environmental award

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QCOSTARICA – For its successful conservation model, Costa Rica was awarded the Earthshot Prise award in the category Protect and Restore Nature, awarded by the Royal Foundation to incentivize change and help repair the planet for the next ten years, a crucial decade for the Land.

The Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony 2021, Costa Rica, October 17, 2021. Photo by: Roberto Sánchez / @rosanchezphoto

The announcement was made this Sunday, October 17 by Prince William of England and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and The Royal Foundation, in a simultaneous activity in the 15 countries selected as global finalists, three for each of the five defined categories.

The Prize is launched after two years of work by Prince William and The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to develop a project that supports the global effort to protect and restore the environment, as well as identify proven solutions to the biggest problems. environmental conditions facing the planet.

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The Earthshot Prize is a prize awarded annually from 2021 to 2030, to five winners each year whose solutions substantially help the environment.

The Minister of Energy and Livestock Andrea Meza and Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado holding the Earthshot price

The organization explained that Costa Rica won the distinction – which accredits it to receive 1 million pounds (US$1.37 million dollars) – for its initiative of Payment of Environmental Services (PSA) to communities and farm owners started in 1997, led by the National Forest Financing Fund of the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (MINAE) -Ministry of Environment and Energy – and for its successful conservation model, which has allowed a high percentage of biodiversity to be protected today in Protected Wild Areas (ASP).

“The country today demonstrates once again to the world that we are pioneers in successfully developing conservation models on land and thanks to this we have been winners of the Earthshot Prize initiative. We will invest these resources in replicating and strengthening these models in marine conservation; We know that we must be diligent and act now to counteract the impacts of climate change, or the effects will be irreversible,” said Costa Rica president Carlos Alvarado, upon hearing the news.

He explained that, although in Costa Rica 92% of the territory is marine, only 2.7% is under marine protected area schemes, so the government will invest the resources obtained with the award to replicate the conservation model of terrestrial ecosystems, in marine ecosystems.


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On the Earthshot Prize, Prince William said on his website that “the plan is really to galvanize and bring together the best minds, the best possible solutions, to determine and address some of the world’s greatest environmental challenges. We have to harness our ingenuity and our ability to invent. The next ten years are a critical decade for change. Time is of the essence, so we believe this ambitious global award is the only way forward.”

MAG Minister Andrea Meza Murillo explained that the Protected Wild Areas have become an engine of economic development in the territories and one of the main tourist attractions of our country, so we must make greater efforts to achieve the financial sustainability of these ASPs, both on land and at sea.

“On the other hand, public conservation efforts have been complemented very well with conservation efforts on private lands and especially with the Payment for Environmental Services scheme, which has been a very effective way of giving value to nature and to benefit different forest owners, both in indigenous territories and private owners, producers. The time has come to replicate what has been done on land, at sea. The country has been making efforts in marine conservation and currently has modern instruments to strengthen the protection of marine biodiversity,” she said.

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“We are proud to have the resources of this award to promote a marine conservation model, where we also promote economic reactivation based on the valuation of ocean resources and innovative schemes based on protected areas and payment of services. ecosystemic,” indicated the Minister.

The winners

Protect and Restore Nature:

Costa Rica: Costa Rica was a country that once cleared most of its forests, but it has now doubled the number of trees and is seen as a role model for others to follow. The winning project is a scheme paying local citizens to restore natural ecosystems that has led to a revival of the rainforest

Clean our Air:

Takachar, India: A portable machine created to turn agricultural waste into fertilizer so that farmers do not burn their fields and cause air pollution

Revive our Oceans:

Coral Vita, Bahamas: A project run by two best friends who are growing coral in the Bahamas, designed to restore the world’s dying coral reefs. Using special tanks, they have developed a way to grow coral up to 50 times faster than they normally take in nature

Build a Waste-Free World:

The City of Milan Food Waste Hubs, Italy: Another challenge is waste – and the city of Milan in Italy wins a prize for collecting unused food and giving it to people who need it most. The initiative has dramatically cut waste while tackling hunger

Fix our Climate:

AEM Electrolyser, Thailand/Germany/Italy: A clever design in Thailand using renewable energy to make hydrogen by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is a clean gas but it is usually produced by burning fossil fuels

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