http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 15.18Change: -0.13
R/$ = 13.63Change: -0.09
Au 1124.04 $/ozChange: -0.06
Pt 1005.00 $/ozChange: -7.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jul 08, 2011

Lessons from Costa Rica in environmental sustainability

Back
Africa|Environment|Resources|Road|System|Water|Africa|Energy|Services|Environmental
Africa|Environment|Resources|Road|System|Water|Africa|Energy|Services|Environmental
africa-company|environment|resources|road|system|water|africa|energy|services|environmental
© Reuse this



The earth’s population spends more money on killing the planet than saving it, according to Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, VP for conservation policy at Conservation International.

Rodriguez, also formerly Costa Rica’s Minster of Environment and Energy, was speaking in Cape Town last week at the Cambridge Resilience Forum about how Costa Rica has been one of the most successful countries in the world in working towards a low-carbon economy using a system known as payment for ecosystem services (PES).

Rodriguez was a pioneer in Costa Rica in the development and implementation of this system, where Costa Ricans are paid for any carbon sequestration, water and biodiversity ‘services’ they provide.

“[Costa Ricans] have learned that we are unable to succeed in achieving our standards, targets and goals of social development and economic development without investing heavily in wisely using our natural resources and ecosystem,” he said.

Costa Rica is a biodiversity ‘hot spot’ where, in 1940, 75% of the country was covered in forests. This dropped to only 21% in 1987 as the financial incentives of the time were geared to changing unproductive landscapes into productive landscapes. Forests were mostly considered unproductive, resulting in deforestation. In 1991, the Costa Rican government realised that the incentives being paid were essentially bad investments and needed to be reconsidered.

In the early 1990s, Costa Rica subsequently analysed the benefits from healthy ecosystems. The analysis resulted in a policy which identified that owners of forests were supplying environmental services to the country in the form of carbon sequestration and so could be paid for those services. The intention was that this would encourage further reforestation by other landowners.

Environmental Services

Vehicles such as carbon taxes were implemented, which then created the income that could be paid to the providers of the environmental services.

The PES system was dramatically successful and payment for carbon sequestration services resulted in the restoration of a significant number of forests and, by 2005, the forest-covered area of the country increased to 52%. PES meant it had become profitable for landowners to reforest.

The system had other benefits which were not initially anticipated. Of the people that received payment for environmental services, 30% were considered extremely poor, said Rodriguez. Unwittingly, the Costa Rican government had designed a market instrument for forest conservation that also had a significant human benefit as a by-product. Rodriguez was able to show examples where communities had used PES funds to build homes and schools and, in doing so, uplifted themselves.

In addition to payment for carbon sequestration, the PES system now also pays for water and biodiversity services. He said that payment for water services “is an area where I see a great opportunity for South Africa”.

Commenting on South Africa’s road towards environmental sustainability, he noted other parallels with Costa Rica. “When I travel around rural South Africa, I see you have a major challenge in restoration, not just in conservation. I believe that the dimension and scale of the restoration are even bigger and more complex.”

Costa Rica should be an example for South Africa as it has shown that environmental sustainability and social development can go hand in hand. Where it was once the poorest country in the western hemisphere, it now ranks top of the ‘Happy Planet Index’, which measures the wellbeing of people in the nations of the world while taking into account their environmental impact. Costa Rica aims to be fully carbon neutral by 2021.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other News This Week News
The Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) has joined forces with Tshwane North Technical, Vocational and Education and Training College (TNC) to train 100 young unemployed learners as artisans, and marked this with an event that took...
JAMES TEMPLETON The increase in distribution is as a result of Emira’s acquisitive growth
JSE-listed Emira Property Fund reported distributions per participatory interest (PI) of 134.27 c – a distribution growth of 9% – for the 12 months to June 20, 2015.
Earlier this month ground broke on South Africa’s latest four star green building – the first of its kind in the Eastern Cape. The modern three-storey office block is located within the Baywest City precinct in Port Elizabeth’s western suburbs, along the N2, and...
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 2 minutes ago South Africa's Eskom is seeking R2-billion ($147-million) from Glencore and wants the commodity producer's local unit to resume coal supplies to its power stations immediately, the utility's acting chief executive said on Friday. Eskom wants Optimum Coal to start...
Eskom acting CEO Brian Molefe
Updated 14 minutes ago The benefits of adding more nuclear power in South Africa will outweigh the cost implications, Eskom's acting chief executive told reported on Friday. In the midst of it worst electricity shortage crisis since 2008, Africa's most developed economy plans to add 9 600...
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown
Updated 1 hour 22 minutes ago South African power utility Eskom expects the first 800 MW of power from its coal-fired power station, Kusile, to come on line from August 2017, the power firm said on Friday. Besides Kusile, Eskom said in a statement that the next major milestone was the...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) has joined forces with Tshwane North Technical, Vocational and Education and Training College (TNC) to train 100 young unemployed learners as artisans, and marked this with an event that took...
JAMES TEMPLETON The increase in distribution is as a result of Emira’s acquisitive growth
JSE-listed Emira Property Fund reported distributions per participatory interest (PI) of 134.27 c – a distribution growth of 9% – for the 12 months to June 20, 2015.
Earlier this month ground broke on South Africa’s latest four star green building – the first of its kind in the Eastern Cape. The modern three-storey office block is located within the Baywest City precinct in Port Elizabeth’s western suburbs, along the N2, and...
South African armoured and mine protected vehicles company Denel Vehicle Systems (DVS) has won its first order since becoming part of the Denel group at the end of April. "It's a sizeable contract," reports DVS CEO Johan Steyn. "We won the contract in July. It's a...
South African guided weapons, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) and space company Denel Dynamics plans to increase its revenues to more than R2-billion within five years. This was reported by company CEO Tsepo Monaheng at its annual "Show and Tell" briefing in Centurion,...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96