Have you come this far wondering what are the main environmental problems in Costa Rica? Some of them have been around for many years, such as sewage treatment and waste management. Others, however, are relatively new and could be intensified by climate change in the near future.
It is important for this country to achieve the goal of greater development and for the economy to grow, but we must not lose sight of the problems of environmental pollution in Costa Rica and we must direct everything possible towards sustainable development.
In this article we will examine 10 environmental problems in Costa Rica and possible solutions for these to end or mitigate them. So, don’t forget to read this complete AgroCorrn article where we tell you all about the environmental problems of Costa Rica .
Waste management and production
The amount of waste produced has doubled in just over a decade and only 15% reaches recycling centers, while 20% is thrown away uncontrollably anywhere. The elimination of inadequate solid and liquid waste is polluting the water.
The solutions are to not throw them into rivers or dispose of them in any aquatic ecosystem or other natural areas. In addition, it is convenient to make the population aware of how to prevent the production of so much waste, as well as to develop some strategies for greater recycling. Here you can learn about what is waste management .
Water scarcity, one of the main environmental problems in Costa Rica
Water scarcity can lead to public health, agricultural and livestock production, and power generation problems. The latter is due to the fact that in Costa Rica a good percentage of electrical energy is generated from water resources (hydroelectric energy).
Water must be used more efficiently, for example, by installing water reuse systems , collecting rainwater for irrigation and other uses, and installing other existing devices to save water. You could also choose to invest more in water desalination.
In this link you will see information about what is water scarcity, its causes and consequences .
Water pollution in Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, only slightly more than 20% of the wastewater generated in homes is treated . Many times this causes the degradation of aquatic ecosystems and endangers our health.
Taking measures to treat wastewater, in addition to not throwing waste into water bodies, will prevent water pollution in Costa Rica. It would also help to properly monitor the quality of this precious resource.
Overexploitation of sea resources
Another of Costa Rica’s environmental problems is the overexploitation of maritime resources . For about 14 years there have been no statistics to measure the rate at which these resources are being exploited, although other indicators reveal serious damage to populations such as white shrimp and many fish such as groupers, horse mackerel, snappers, etc. Statistics must again be available to help decision-making when managing fishery resources , if they could not decrease to the point of no longer being able to fish them.
In this link you can learn more about the Overexploitation of natural resources .
Air pollution in Costa Rica
In about 15 years, the number of private vehicles has doubled, but not so public transport, which also has an old fleet. Since fossil fuels are consumed for its operation , this has caused a serious increase in air pollution .
¿ How to avoid contamination of the air Costa Rica ? Accessibility to public transport must be improved, the Costa Rican vehicle fleet modernized, as well as incentivizing the use of hybrid or electric vehicles to solve this problem.
Abundant use of agrochemicals
Another environmental problem in Costa Rica is the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides , which are also called toxic agrochemicals or pesticides . This means that when vegetables and fruits reach consumers, they still contain traces of these chemicals. Residues have also been found in wells and aquifers, thus contaminating the water.
The solution is to encourage the use of new technologies and to better manage certain wastes that are bathed in water and cause it to become contaminated.
Deforestation and decrease in reforestation
Deforestation, as well as the decrease in reforestation, has its cause mainly in the growth of urban areas and cultivated fields .
A few years ago very ambitious reforestation campaigns were carried out that have been neglected a bit. Everything possible must be done to limit this growth and make better use of the available space to prevent further forest loss .
Real estate and tourism expansion
It is about the expansion of urban areas that we mentioned earlier. In addition, the expansion of the tourism sector also affects real estate development, so these expansions must be controlled. Tourism can also generate other environmental impacts, including poorly carried out ecotourism , since it can generate garbage and alter some individuals of species of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica . Likewise, rural migration should be avoided, as it does not contribute to sustainable development.
Consumerism is undoubtedly another of the great environmental problems in Costa Rica . We consume a lot of everything and we come to see it as a necessity, when in reality they are just desires, sometimes a bit illogical. Consumption above what is necessary will always increase our carbon footprint , thus being responsible for global warming and other environmental problems, since there is excess manufacturing of products , by processes that are mostly polluting (both water such as soil and air), and there is also the problem of uncontrolled garbage generation , which ends up in the soil, on the beaches and in the waters of rivers and seas.
You have to avoid buying unnecessary products and try to acquire those that have a long useful life. For this, it will be necessary to raise awareness as much of the population as possible. We advise you to learn more with this other post on How consumerism affects the environment .
The small country of Costa Rica is especially vulnerable to extreme weather events typical of climate change , such as tropical storms and floods , but it is also vulnerable to extreme temperatures , droughts and forest fires. In Costa Rica, climate change has already reduced the growth of crops and pastures on numerous occasions and has also caused losses in livestock. It is estimated that the losses caused by climate change could reach more than 7 billion dollars if nothing is done, therefore, Costa Rica must be provided with infrastructure adapted to climate change.
You can learn more about one of the main environmental problems in Costa Rica and around the globe, reading these other articles about Causes and consequences of climate change , How climate change affects us and How to avoid climate change .
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