2022 IASNR Conference
Location: San José, Costa Rica
About Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a country of 5 million people located in Central America. While situated in a region of the world known to present serious political and social problems, Costa Rica stands out for its impressive development and governance performance. With economic, health, education, and life expectancy indicators that improve year by year (see Figure 1), Costa Rica is considered by some a developed country. The United Nations Development Program Human Development Index ranked the country in 2018 as the 63rd country in the world out of 192 currently ranked – a big jump from the 2010 ranking which placed Costa Rica as the140th country in world.
Specifically related to the IASNR conference, Costa Rica is well-known for its commitment to environmental goals. While only owning 0.03% of the world’s land, the country contains about 5% of the biodiversity of the world. The country takes serious measures to protect its natural habitats, currently having 25% of its land protected and fulfilling 95% of its energy demands from renewable sources. Additionally, the country has developed many initiatives seeking to protect and enhance nature, including a payment for environmental services program which provides economic incentives to private landowners who preserve their land; a carbon neutral program that, among other strategies, has promoted a massive reforestation program to offset carbon emissions; and the blue flag program, which rewards communities that engage in participatory practices aimed at promoting conservation and development.
Despite media coverage that can raise safety concerns in Costa Rica, the country remains one of the safest tourist destinations in Latin America. According to the 2018 Global Peace Index, the country ranked first among the most peaceful nations in Central America and third in Latin America, after Uruguay and Chile. The Costa Rica tourism board understands the importance of keeping tourists safe, working hand-in-hand with the different government agencies in charge of public safety, leading to the creation of a special tourism police and providing funding. The tourism sector has also worked with the legislative powers of the country, establishing stronger laws aimed at making the country safer. However, please keep in mind that Costa Rica is still considered a Third World Country. Please take all precautions when in Costa Rica. It is important to avoid walking alone at night, carrying jewelry or flashing technology that can catch the eye of thieves.
Interesting facts about Costa Rica
1) Since 1948, Costa Rica is one of the few countries that does not have any type of standing army. The country decided to invest that money in health and education instead.
2) The Central American country has been listed on several occasions (2009, 2012, and 2016) as “The Happiest Country in the World” according to the Happy Planet Index of the New Economics Foundation.
3) Included in the country’s objectives is to become the first carbon neutral country in the world by 2050. This goal has been developed by different government programs and represents a great challenge for civil society, the business sector and the public.
About San José
San José was founded in 1736 and is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica. San José is located within what is known as Costa Rica´s Central Valley, situated at an altitude of 1,160 meters above sea level (3,800 ft), home to around 1.5 million people, representing close to a third of the country’s population.
Yearly average temperatures in San José range from 18.3 C (64.9 F) to 30.3 C (86.5 F). During the month of June, the average highs and lows are 19.0 C (66.2 F) and 28.8 C (82.8 F). The rainy season in the country starts in May and ends in October, with June averaging 22 rainy days.
There is plenty to do in San José, including world class museums, theaters, parks, restaurants, shopping and more.
The conference venue, the University of Costa Rica, is located about 5km from the location of the conference participating hotel located in downtown San José (The Holiday Inn San José-Aurola).