President says the time is finally right for international agreement to tackle biodiversity loss and global heating

When it comes to the environment, few countries rival Costa Rica in terms of action and ambition.

The tiny Central American nation is aiming for total decarbonisation by 2050, not just a “net zero” target. It has regrown large areas of tropical rainforest after suffering some of the highest rates of deforestation in the world in the 1970s and 1980s. Costa Ricans play a major role in international environmental politics, most notably Christiana Figueres, who helped to corral world leaders into agreeing the Paris accord.

As Mandela said, ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done’

We will be running a series of occasional articles looking at the key issues and people involved at the Cop15 of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity scheduled to be held in Kunming, China, in 2021. The meeting will bring together governments from around the world to sign up to a Paris-style agreement on biodiversity that sets goals for the next decade.

Related: ‘Sweet City’: the Costa Rica suburb that gave citizenship to bees, plants and trees

More and more, the real impacts of the climate crisis on our societies is evident

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