Yesterday, rangers at the Cocos Island in the Pacific rescued an endangered green sea turtle hooked by fishermen in protected waters. Conservation officials say this incident highlights the threat illegal fishing poses to endangered and vulnerable species. The hooked sea turtle, named Swift, was one of 15 turtles tagged by the Sea Turtle Conservation Group, which works to protect this critically endangered species. Crocodile Bay donated the GPS tracking devices for sea turtle conservation and research. Illegal poachers who are catching sharks for shark fin soup, a popular Asian delicacy, threaten sea turtle populations that get caught on their lines. This happened after Costa Rica lawmakers just passed a law banning hunting an important measure in protecting biodiversity. Ensuring biodiversity requires protecting endangered species and plants as well as the ecosystem.
The United Nations has called Costa Rica a model country for other nations to follow when it comes to protecting biodiversity. On the heels of Costa Rica passing a ban on hunting, world leaders are getting ready to meet again to discuss the future of protection of biodiversity. The USA is one of three countries that have not signed the UN Biodiversity Agreement. However, Costa Rica has been named a model country by the United Nations for other countries to follow in preserving biodiversity.
Biodiversity is the canary in the coalmine signaling the overall health of the planet’s ecosystem. Latin countries are biodiversity superstars rich in flora, species and plants that can be found nowhere else in the world. Exploring the rainforest whether it is by a simple day hike or wildlife tour or a more rigorous activity such as rappelling or climbing is an experience. Biodiversity requires sunshine and water, the two essential ingredients for life, and Costa Rica’s rainforest are teaming with both.
As the first proponents of ecotourism learned, public awareness is a key factor in protecting the world’s biodiversity. After all, it saved the humpback whales form extinction. Ecotourism is also a sustainable industry that many developing nations are in a position to implement into their own economies with Costa Rica being the model. Corcovado National Park and the many reserves and other parks that protect biodiversity in Costa Rica are a treasure trove to visit and explore. It is due to Costa Rica’s strong commitment to the environment that these lands exist for people to visit, relax, restore balance and learn sometimes intentionally and often just through osmosis about the natural environment.