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Costa Rica is the only Central American country where forests have grown in 20 years

Costa Rica is the only Central American country where forests have grown in 20 years


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By Camila Salazar

In total, by 2011, the country had 2,628,000 hectares covered with forest, 64,000 more than twenty years ago. The increase is equivalent to joining the area of ​​the Corcovado National Parks, Poás Volcano and the Monteverde Biological Reserve. The FAO report indicates that for the same period in Central America the forest cover fell by five percentage points on average, although countries such as Honduras or Nicaragua showed a fall of 38 and 33 percent, respectively.

As explained by Gilbert Canet, Forest Development Manager of the National System of Conservation Areas, since the 1980s state policies have promoted reforestation and created incentives to protect forests. In addition, the ups and downs in agricultural activity led to areas previously dedicated to pastures to be covered with trees.

Canet added that the main areas where forests were recovered were the Guanacaste region, the North zone and the South zone.

According to data from the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the provinces with the largest amount of land covered with forests are Limón and Puntarenas, since each of them allocates 11% of its territory to plant trees.

To continue with the increasing trend, Gilbert Canet indicated that a Forest Development Program will be established to provide support to the owners of farms who want to reforest.

The FAO report indicates that Latin America and the Caribbean were the regions of the world with the highest rate of deforestation, since it reached -0.46% between 2000 and 2010, which tripled the world average. However, the report points out that "the general trend in Latin America shows a slowdown in the conversion of forest areas to areas for cultivation or for livestock."

Amelia Rueda


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