The government of Germany, through its San José Embassy, donated 10,000 trees to Costa Rica’s Huella del Futuro initiative to celebrate the Central American nation’s bicentennial.
This donation adds to the 130,000 trees that Germany and the European Union already provided to Costa Rica through the Green Development Fund for the Central American Integration System (SICA) region. The ultimate goal is for Costa Rica to reach 60% forest coverage by 2030, which is meant to combat the effects of climate change and support sustainable development.
The first tree was planted Monday in the Northern Zone during a ceremony at the “La Loma” farm in the Nataniel Arias Murillo Professional Technical College in Aguas Zarcas.
“I am deeply grateful to the Government of Germany, through Ambassador Martina Nibbeling, for the adoption and donation of these 10,000 trees, which will positively impact not only the ecosystems of the cantons of San Carlos, Guatuso and Upala but also the students and women beneficiaries, through four eco-forests that will make up the Friendship Route of Germany and Costa Rica,” replied the Vice President of the Republic, Epsy Campbell.
Costa Rica’s “Huella del Futuro” campaign had the goal of planting 200,000 trees in nine northern cantons by September 2021. So far, 172,000 trees have been planted, thanks in part to previous contributions from the German Cooperation Agency for Development (GIZ), the European Union (EU) and the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD).
When the program was launched, Vice Presidency Epsy Campbell said it symbolized a “great moment to leave an indelible and sustainable footprint” on the world.
“Together, we can address the challenges we currently face as humanity, such as the mass extinction of species, the climate crisis, the need for an inclusive economic recovery after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the empowerment and autonomy of women,” Campbell said.
Costa Rica hopes to plan and maintain 65,000 fruit and flower trees lining public roads; 120,000 trees for timber; and 15,000 trees in secondary forests. All will be native tree species. The project will also generate 200 jobs, according to the National Forestry Financing Fund (FONAFIFO).
Those interested in donating or tracking the campaign’s progress can do so at huelladelfuturo.cr.
“Huella del Futuro” also suggests volunteer opportunities for those interested in conservation work and allows Costa Ricans to register their own reforestation projects that could benefit from additional visibility.
FONAFIFO, the Environment Ministry and the Tourism Board also recently launched an online tool allowing visitors to calculate and offset the carbon emissions created by their travel.
Today, about 57% of Costa Rica is considered to be under forest cover, a figure that has doubled since the country began efforts to combat deforestation in the 1990s.