On Wednesday, 9 November 2011, the Ambassador of Costa Rica to Japan, Mr. Álvaro Cedeño Molinari, will deliver a public lecture on “Payment of Environmental Services – Costa Rica’s Success Story” at the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies in Yokohama. The lecture will explore how Costa Rica overcame severe deforestation and environmental degradation to protect the nation’s rich biodiversity and environmental services.
Until the mid-1980s, Costa Rica suffered a devastating process of deforestation, giving way to more land-intensive agricultural production. Since then, government policies and incentives have transformed tendencies and resulted in a significant improvement in forest coverage, ecosystem conservation and biodiversity prospection. Today, Costa Rica is home to an estimated 4 per cent of the world’s biodiversity, despite occupying a mere 0.03 per cent of the planet’s land mass. Its geographical location and topography create several microclimates that are optimal for the coexistence of a wide variety of living organisms.
The preservation of ecosystems in a sustainable manner has required consideration of the communities that live in or around them and ways to support their sustainable livelihoods. Not only is it necessary to preserve these natural environments, but also to create awareness about the need for restoration and sustainable development without degradation.
This lecture will present the success story of Costa Rica and discuss a series of challenges that the country will face in upcoming decades. Climate change requires a deeper consideration about ways to move forward. Some elements of this process can be shared with countries in other latitudes, in the same way as best practices from other regions of the world have enriched Cost Rica’s capabilities to pursue sustainable development.
Álvaro Cedeño Molinari has served as Costa Rica’s Ambassador to Japan since 1 August 2011. He studied Law at the University of Costa Rica, obtained a master′s degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation at the University of Tromsø, Norway, and another master′s degree in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University (Australia).
Ambassador Molinari has worked as tourist guide, translator, lawyer, government official and diplomat. He has been an international volunteer for ten years in intercultural and peace education around the world. His mandate as Ambassador to Japan includes the implementation of a green economy strategy for Costa Rica.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information and registration details, visit the event page on the UNU-IAS website.