Thursday, February 12, 2009

Costa Rica is the first "BioGem" country

NEWS FLASH: Yesterday's newspaper reported that Robert Kennedy Jr. announced that Costa Rica has been named the world's first "BioGem" country. Forgive me, but I am excited. The U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council bestowed this designation to support Costa Rica's efforts to become the world's first carbon-neutral country by 2021.

The BioGem program is designed to protect areas of unique, irreplaceable, ecological importance. There are only 13 BioGem areas. All but one are specific forests or wilderness areas. The one exception is that the entire country of Costa Rica has just been designated a "BioGem" area.

Robert Kennedy Jr. described the importance of this designation as follows: "These BioGems are some of the last wild and unspoiled places left in the Western Hemisphere. By naming these places as BioGems, NRDC is empowering hundreds of thousands of concerned individuals to take effective action to save these natural treasures for generations to come."

In selecting Costa Rica as a BioGem, the NRDC described it as follows: "Located at the convergence of the northern and southern hemispheres -- with two coastlines, lush tropical forests, mountains and volcanoes all squeezed into an area smaller than West Virgina -- Costa Rica packs a wallop of biodiversity."

The BioGem Fact Sheet on Costa Rica praised its environmental commitments and noted that it contains 10% of all bird species in the world and twice as many bird species as the USA and Canada combined, plus 4% of the world's plant and animal species, and 30% of the country's plant species can be found only in Costa Rica.

To illustrate this pioneering ecological achievement, I have shown a photo today looking down on the Monteverde cloud forest canopy. Additional information about the BioGem designation for Costa Rica, including a link to sign up to help save the plants and animals of Costa Rica, you may click on this link to http://www.savebiogems.org/costarica.

8 comments:

Abe Lincoln said...

The photo of the forest canopy also reminds me that my first impression was that it was a planting of small plants that cover a bare spot of dirt in a flower garden.

To learn what it really is turns out to be most important to all of us as there are few places left anywhere in the world that mankind has not touched in some way and often in destructive ways. Without little care for the environment or those who live there, they strip away something and leave nothing.

I am happy for you that this was declared a BioGem area. The whole world needs more of them.

Martin in Bulgaria said...

Excellent news, everhone in the world whould be happy that things are happening like this.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

this is wonderful news. Costa Rica is such a special place and this recognition should help their reputation as the eco-tourism place to go as well as keep people in the country focused on the need to protect their eco-systems and ensure they have proper infrastructure. Pura Vida.

Sharon said...

Wonderful news and so deserving. I love the forest canopy. I wish I wouldn't have been too frightened to enjoy it when I did the zip line! :-)

Jarart said...

The people of Costa Rica should be so proud. Looking at all that green, I can almost see the oxygen being produced.

brattcat said...

What wonderful news, but you already knew you had discovered a bio-gem when you decided to settle there, I bet. Here's hoping more places join Costa Rica in this 'green' club.

glenda said...

Here's hoping other countries follow Costa Rica's lead.

Kuanyin Moi said...

Wow---I'd missed this BIG story, and I'm glad I stopped by. Congratulations all around!

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