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Carte des aires protégées du Costa Rica

The Costa Rican government was a pioneer in this field by proposing a strategic plan for sustainable tourism development in the 1990s. The creation of national parks was very quickly perceived as an excellent way to reconcile environmental conservation and tourism. Today, Costa Rica has 149 protected areas, 3 of which are on the World Heritage List, areas that alone occupy 25% of the country's land area and are home to nearly 5% of the world's biodiversity!

In 1997, the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism set up the CST, an eco-label that rewards tourism stakeholders committed to the development of sustainable tourism.

Map of protected areas in Costa Rica, source: MINAE

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