San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

President Chinchilla highlights Costa Rica’s natural capital at Rio summit

President Laura Chinchilla on Wednesday emphasized the value of natural capital at a conference organized by the World Bank as part of the activities of the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil.

Chinchilla lamented that 20 years after the original Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro a lack of a “green GDP” still exists. “Costa Rica, my country, understood the importance of preserving and strengthening its natural capital 20 years before the first Earth Summit. And although it is not explicitly evident from our government’s finances, we have no doubt of its contribution to the growth of our economy and the welfare of our people,” she said.

The Costa Rican president warned that world leaders must be able to break traditional paradigms of measurement and evaluation of development. “Costa Rica’s experience confirms that environmental protection does not inhibit growth, but becomes one of its best assets,” she said.

“At this juncture of our civilization, we must relearn about the principles on which to base our aspiration for development, for progress so that humans are in harmony with nature, and, above all, to ensure future generations the ability to aspire to their highest ideals and achieve prosperity,” Chinchilla said.

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