Costa Rica is the first country ever to receive the “Champion of the Earth” award from the UN. This recognition has previously been given to 88 laureates, 21 world leaders, 56 individuals and 11 groups or organizations.
President Carlos Alvarado received the award on behalf of the whole country. He stated “This is the result of years. This is an inheritance. I must thank the generations of my grandparents and my parents, but also the educators who have taught how to conserve the environment, our indigenous peoples who are the main protectors of our lands, park rangers, firefighters, communities of committed people and several generations of scientists.”
The award is due to the efforts made by the country in the protection of nature and the fight against climate change. Costa Rica has achieved over 99% of its electricity from clean, renewable sources. The country has proven that deforestation can be reversed. This is a legacy.
The Inspiration and Action award went to the Ant Forest, a tree planting program as well as Fridays for Future, which raises awareness of climate change. The Patagonia clothing brand was awarded as well, in the Entrepreneurship category. Lastly, Katharine Hayhoe was awarded in the Science and Innovation category for quantifying the effects of climate change and its efforts to transform attitudes.