Join the campaign to listen to nature by visiting the Costa Rica rainforest

February 11th, 2015

Costa Rica Golfo Dulce and rainforest

In Conservation International’s “Nature is speaking” videos, the pervading message is “the only way to save ourselves is to listen to nature.” The environmental organization uses famous actors’ and actresses’ voices with beautiful video footage of nature in widely popular video campaigns to promote their important manifesto:

“Human beings are part of nature. Nature is not dependent on human beings to exist. Human beings, on the other hand, are totally dependent on nature to exist.”

“Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature,” is the message displayed at the end of every Conservation International video. “If they don’t figure out that they are a part of nature, instead of just using nature, they won’t be around,” cautions actor Robert Redford to humans, speaking as a redwood tree in one video.

“One way or another, every living thing here needs me,” advises actor Harrison Ford in the organization’s video about the ocean. “If nature isn’t kept healthy, humans won’t survive. Simple as that.”

There is a lighthearted video on beautiful flowers and their key role in nature, and a foreshadowing of doom about water and the power of the oceans. There is a video about the crucial importance of coral reef on the planet, and a dramatic chilling message about destroying the soil. The rainforest is most importantly our source for air, and Julia Roberts as Mother Nature tells us that she does not need us, but rather we need her.

Roberts’ narrative sums up the significance: “Some call me nature. Others call me ‘Mother Nature.’ I’ve been here for over 4.5 billion years – 22,500 times longer than you. I don’t really need people, but people need me … when I thrive, you thrive. When I falter, you falter, or worse.”

Playa Nicuesa bungalowYou can be an advocate for nature and see the ocean, coral reef, rivers, rainforest, soil, flowers and Mother Nature’s beauty at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica. The extraordinary Costa Rica eco-lodge is located on a 165-acre private preserve on the Golfo Dulce (“Sweet Gulf”) in southern Costa Rica. The sustainably-designed property borders the Piedras Blancas National Park and the Osa Peninsula.

Costa Rica is named the third best Green Country in the World, according to the 2014 Global Green Economy Index™ (GGEI). Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge has received the highest rating in the Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program (CST) by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT).

Article by Shannon Farley

Costa Rica joins six countries in pledging to reforest 20 million hectares of Latin America.

January 31st, 2015

Great news for our country and Latin American forests: Costa Rica joins six countries in pledging to reforest 20 million hectares of Latin America.
Costa Rica continues to make news around the world. What a best way to start the year with such great news, not only for our beautiful country but for all of Latin America.

It turns out that Costa Rica among other 6 Latin American countries  (Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador and Chile) have commited themselves, and according to AFP reports, in pledging to reforest 20 million hectares – about the size of Uruguay – of degraded land by the year 2020. This statement was made during the 12-day talks amongst the world’s nations taking place in Peru under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC).

It is of great importance for all of these nations to commit themselves into such a responsibility that will make the whole world become even more aware of the actual climate changes and damage it has been resulting due mainly because of deforestation.

This group, now known as the “20×20 Initiative, has come to the following hectare amounts each:

Costa Rica and Chile: 50.000 hectares each.
Mexico 8.5 million hectares
Peru 3 .2 million hectares
Guatemala 1.2 million hectares
Colombia 1 million hectares

The Ecuadorian Minister of Environment, Lorena Tapia, expressed that  “with funding and support from the national government we will succeed in restoring 500,000 hectares by 2017” during the meeting in Lima, Peru.

As for Costa Rica interests, according to Mr. José Joaquín Campos director of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (Catie), its main priority is  to reestablish the lands of Puriscal, Turrialba and some of Guanacaste´s zones.  In order to achieve this, Mr. Campos mentions that it will be necessary to have a joined work with the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae).

It is hoped that all this effort doesn´t stay only on paper and that the people involved will accept the challenge and assume their responsibility. In this way, not only our most important natural resources will benefit but also our next generations for years to come.

Green tourism, also called eco-tourism and sustainable travel, is what Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica is all about. The Costa Rica eco-lodge by the Osa Peninsula is one of only three dozen hotels in Costa Rica that have received the highest rating in the Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program (CST). Created by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT), the CST program rates and certifies tourism businesses based on their compliance with natural, cultural and social resource management.

Playa Nicuesa sustainability highlights:

  • Lodge buildings are located on less than 2% of property – 98% is a private protected area.
  • Used recycled construction materials, such as: roof tiles on the lodge and cabins made from recycled plastics, including banana bags.
  • Wood came from naturally fallen trees, permitted by the government to be pulled out of the forest by oxen, or from farmed trees.
  • Electricity is provided by solar energy. Panels are located on main lodge structure. Back-up generator runs on recycled vegetable oil.
  • Solar drying room used to dry all of the lodge wash.
  • Hot water is provided by on-demand propane which means that the propane is used only when the hot water faucet is turned on.
  • Received the Ecological Blue Flag Award for clean beaches.

Article by Gabriela Serrano.

Top Animals in the Osa Peninsula

January 15th, 2015

Top Animals in the Osa Peninsula

Learn to make chocolate on Nicuesa Lodge cocoa tour

December 18th, 2014

Cacao tree seed pod at NicuesaIf you visited the beautiful property of Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge four decades ago, instead of a high-end Costa Rica eco-lodge, you would have found only chocolate trees.”

Cacao tree plantations were once plentiful in Costa Rica’s southernmost region of the Golfo Dulce and Osa Peninsula. Cacao was an important export market for Costa Rica until the fungus blight called Monilia destroyed 95% of production in 1979.

On the Chocolate Tour at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, you will learn about cacao’s rich history in Costa Rica, what the cacao fruit looks like, how it is harvested and how to make delicious natural chocolate from raw cacao seeds. The best part is eating your own freshly made chocolate treats after the tour!

Cacao beans, photo by Smithsonian MagazineCacao has a long history in Central America. Cacao beans were revered by indigenous peoples and even used as currency in Pre-Columbian times; in Costa Rica, cacao continued to be exchanged for goods up until the 1930s.
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