WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY?
By definition sustainability has become a way of thinking and living that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Simply put “leave the world better than you found it, take no more than you need and try not to harm life in the environment but make amends if you do.” It requires a consciousness of how your actions affect the environment and community around you.
This means the development of a country cannot be based solely on the uncontrolled exploitation of its natural, cultural or social resources to meet the basic needs of the public because these resources are the only platform with which future generations will be able to meet their own needs. Education is a key factor in the success of a sustainable lifestyle.
CERTIFICATION OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM (CST)
The fundamentals of the CST are to convert the concept of sustainability into something real, practical and necessary in the context of competitive tourism within the country. It helps us see the best way to use our natural and social resources, to encourage and educate the public within our community and to offer a new level for competition within the business sector. It encourages the development of a tourist driven industry with emphasis on sustainability opening new possibilities for the tourist market as well as international recognition. The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) administers the certification process with great enthusiasm and passion so environmentally conscious tourists can be sure the businesses they choose to frequent based on this certification are authentic.
The Certification of Sustainable Tourism program evaluates hotels in the way they control their impact positively as well as negatively on the countries natural, social and cultural resources. In order to measure the different levels in which a company participates, the CST program provides a system of “sustainability levels” on a scale of 0 to 5 awarded in the form of leaves.
This evaluation is based on the following four aspects:
For more information on this program please visit www.turismo-sostenible.co.cr
For more information on Ecotourism or programs Costa Rica is involved in follow these links:
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora www.cites.org
Costa Rica National Chamber of Ecotourism www.canaeco.org/english