Costa Rica has submitted a pioneering proposal to reduce deforestation through the use of technology and space information generated by satellite imagery from the GEO-Google Earth Engine License Programme.

The initiative, called ‘Tackling deforestation and forest degradation in Costa Rica using Google Earth Engine’, was submitted to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) as part of a programme in partnership with Google – and the proposal has been selected.

The two organisations will offer 32 licenses for the sustained use of Google Earth Engine (GEE) for projects using Earth observation data to address global challenges related to climate change, sustainable development and disaster risk reduction, among others. The two-year, full-access licenses aim to empower public sector and commercial recipients to tackle significant societal challenges and improve understanding of our planet.

Tackling deforestation is just one of a number of ways that Costa Rica is combating climate change and developing a sustainable tourism industry. Read about its Pura Vida Pledge.

Celeste Lopez, Vice minister of Environmental Management, Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, says, “In Costa Rica, the detection of deforestation, degradation and forest restoration is a complex task because these activities are relatively small and are distributed throughout the territory.

“With this project, we want to achieve the development of more accurate estimates of these dynamics and related carbon emissions, and share this knowledge with other countries that share the same challenges. Additionally, we want to work on building an early warning system that allows generating information in the shortest possible time on illegal activities related to deforestation.”

Further information can be found here: here. For more information about Costa Rica, please visit:, or you can read Travel Begins at 40’s exclusive interview with Gustavo Segura Sancho, Tourism Minister and Executive President of the Costa Rica Tourism Board about how the country is leading the world in sustainable tourism.