Learning for a clean future | Global Ideas | DW | 27.11.2012

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Global Ideas

Learning for a clean future

Climate protection, environmental technology, sustainable farming – at the Earth University in Costa Rica, students from all over the world are working towards a climate friendly future.

Watch video 06:37

Earth University - Learning for a clean future in Costa Rica

Project goal: Four years ofpractical training for young students in environmental technology and climate-friendly farming
Project size:Since the university opened its doors back in 1990, more than 1,650 students have graduated and the student body currently consists of some 400 people from 30 countries
Climate effect: The university operates on a carbon neutral basis, and by offering advice to businesses, it is helping Costa Rica work towards its goal of becoming totally CO2 neutral in 2021.

Costa Rica still bears the scars of environmental damage in the form of the rainforest clearances that spilled over into the 1980s. Trees were felled en-mass in order to create meadows for vast herds of cattle. The policy has now changed: Reforestation efforts are underway and ecological tourism is viewed as a money-spinner. Not everything marked “organic” is treated in ways that lend themselves to the tag. But that will have to change, because Costa Rica has set its sights on being the first country in the world to become carbon neutral. Whether the South American nation can meet the ambitious challenge by its self-imposed target of 2021 will be decided by the Earth University Foundation. Its students test climate protecting energy creation, farming and waste management, and make their findings known.

A film by Marion Hütter

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