Evironmental Problems Facing Costa Rica

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Costa Rica, with over a quarter of its territory filled with a network of national parks and reserves, an indication of its continued dedication to environmental protection. However there has been some serious concern. Decades of unplanned population growth and urbanization turned Rio Grande de Tarcoles into one of the most polluted regions, with untreated waste water and garbage being dumped directly into it…

Introduction

This paper takes a look at the serious environmental problems caused due to water pollution and deforestation in Costa Rica (Donald Smith, Costa Rica Deals with Environmental Pressures, for National Geographic News, news.nationalgeographic.com December 14, 2000).
The population of Costa Rica was 862,000 with a per capita water supply of 110,209 cubic meters in 1950. By 1995, population rose to 3,424,000 and water depleted to 27,745 cubic meters (Tom Gardner & Robert Engelman, Sustaining Water, Easing Scarcity: A Second Update, Country Profile: Costa Rica, ncseonline.org). Covering 19,560 square miles, Costa Rica boasts of almost five percent of all known species in the world. Dense rainforest, rare tropical dry forests, the montane cloud forest cloaking the slopes of volcanoes, the dry savanna, the soft white beaches, and the coral reefs make Cost Rica an environmentalist's favored destination.
Costa Rica alone has as many plant species as the whole of Europe, and the number of insect species in a hectare of rainforest is so great that no successful count has been made. Biologist L.H. ...
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