Costa Rica is the first country to receive the Earth shot Prize for an innovative initiative. This program has reversed decades of deforestation by compensating small farmers to plant trees and rehabilitate ecosystems.
About the award. Other winners
On 17 October, in a glittering ceremony in London, was announced the aim of Earthshot Prize, founded by the Duke of Cambridge in October 2020.
This prize is given to the organizations or countries that find the best solutions for the world’s environmental problems. Expo 2020 Dubai is a Global Alliance Founding Partner of the prize, together with DP World.
Costa Rica won the award in the Protect and Restore Nature category for its Payments for Environmental Services Program. On the other hand, four more winners were chosen, representing initiatives in India, Italy, and the Bahamas. Also, a multinational team that developed an innovative technology was awarded. This technology converts renewable electricity into emission-free hydrogen gas, which is used to power vehicles and planes, as well as industries and houses.
A team of 15 prominent judges picked the five prize winners. Each year for the following decade, the prize will grant £1 million to five initiatives striving to resolve the world’s environmental problems.
In addition to the money prize, they have access to a network of professional and technical assistance.
Costa Rica’s environmental program
Costa Rica earned the prize in the Protect and Restore Nature category for their Payments for Environmental Services Program. The program promotes forest ecosystem protection and combats land degradation. Furthermore, this initiative is the country’s first of its kind.
William Reuben, commissioner-general of the Costa Rica Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai explains how useful was this program:
“As a result of the program, 53 percent of Costa Rica’s territory is now covered by forest, which is an increase from 32 percent two decades ago. The program pays small farmers to plant trees in the forest-free areas of their farms, which has led to a reversion of the deforestation trend. A total of 18,000 families have received support through the program.”