Costa Rica has Doubled its Forest Cover in Past 30 Years

While many countries like Brazil and the U.S. are still deforesting at a dangerous pace, Costa Rica is on the mend!

More than 75% of Costa Rica was covered by tropical rain forest in the 1940s. By the mid 1980s, only a quarter of the country remained protected by forests.

But thanks to a reforestation campaign that began around 1990, the country has doubled its tree cover to 50% in just 30 years, proving that humans can repair things almost as quickly as we destroy them.

“That forest cover is able to absorb a huge amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” notes

Brazil and the United States, for example, have been on the opposite trajectory, deforesting at alarming rates Costa Rica can’t counterbalance on its own:

Costa Rica also plans to eliminate fossil fuels by 2050.

Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado has called climate change “the greatest task of our generation.”

“What Costa Rica has accomplished in the past 30 years may be just the impetus needed to spur real change on a global scale,” University of Tokyo researcher Robert Blasiak told Tree Hugger.