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Environment a Priority for Costa Rica

Howler Monkeyby: Federico Bonilla, Real Estate Consultant

Costa Rica has always been known for its environmental concern. Various environmentally conscious programs, such as FONAFIFO’s Forestry Credit program promoting forestry and reforestation, have been set by the government in order to maintain Costa Rica’s famous biodiversity and natural landscapes.

These programs seem to be having the desired effect because Costa Rica has been placed fifth (highest score for any country in America) on the Environmental Performance Index, a ranking system designed by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (YCELP) and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University.

This Index ranks 132 countries on performance indicators included in ten policy categories that cover both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. The ten policy categories analyzed were the following: air (effects on human health), environmental burden of disease, water (effects on human health), agriculture, air (ecosystem effects), biodiversity and habitat, climate change, fisheries, forests, and water (ecosystem effects). The complete list, as well as the methodology used, can be found at

The results of this report should serve as an incentive to any environmentally conscious buyer to acquire property in Costa Rica, thus supporting this country’s efforts to promote policies and campaigns that place the environment as the priority it should be.

Guanacaste PeninsulaOne development that strives to grow while preserving its natural surroundings is Hacienda Pinilla. They have received both international and national recognition for their efforts. In 2001, they received the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP). This certification evaluates a development’s commitment to the protection of natural habitats in and around their golf courses. The Hacienda has also been nationally recognized by the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA) with the White Flag for providing potable, high-quality water to its population in a sustainable way. In addition, the Hacienda’s four beaches (Mansita, Bonita, Langosta, and Avellanas) have been awarded the Ecological Blue Flag for their cleanliness.

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