Great news for our country and Latin American forests: Costa Rica joins six countries in pledging to reforest 20 million hectares of Latin America.\r\n\r\nCosta 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.\r\n\r\nIt turns out that Costa Rica among other 6 Latin American countriesÂ (Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador and Chile) have commited themselves, and according to AFP reports, in pledging to reforest 20 million hectares â€“ about the size of Uruguay â€“ of degraded land by the year 2020. This statement was made during the 12-day talks amongst the worldâ€™s nations taking place in Peru under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC).\r\n\r\nIt 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.\r\n\r\nThis group, now known as the â€œ20Ã—20 Initiative, has come to the following hectare amounts each:\r\n\r\nCosta Rica and Chile: 50.000 hectares each.\r\nMexico 8.5 million hectares\r\nPeru 3 .2 million hectares \r\nGuatemala 1.2 million hectares\r\nColombia 1 million hectares\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Ecuadorian Minister of Environment, Lorena Tapia, expressed thatÂ "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. JosÃ© JoaquÃ­n Campos director of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (Catie), its main priority isÂ to reestablish the lands of Puriscal, Turrialba and some of GuanacasteÂ´s zones.Â 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 doesnÂ´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:\r\n\r\n\r\n\tLodge buildings are located on less than 2% of property â€“ 98% is a private protected area.\r\n\tUsed recycled construction materials, such as: roof tiles on the lodge and cabins made from recycled plastics, including banana bags.\r\n\tWood came from naturally fallen trees, permitted by the government to be pulled out of the forest by oxen, or from farmed trees.\r\n\tElectricity is provided by solar energy. Panels are located on main lodge structure. Back-up generator runs on recycled vegetable oil.\r\n\tSolar drying room used to dry all of the lodge wash.\r\n\tHot water is provided by on-demand propane which means that the propane is used only when the hot water faucet is turned on.\r\n\tReceived the Ecological Blue Flag Award for clean beaches.\r\n\r\nArticle by Gabriela Serrano.