Posts Tagged ‘Inside Costa Rica’

From Inside Costa Rica

India’s state, Himachal Pradesh, would replicate the Costa Rica model for protecting Himalayan ecology by conserving the environmental conditions, said Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal at the concluding ceremony of the International Conference on Environment in San José, Costa Rica.

According to an official release, Prof Dhumal said Costa Rica and Himachal Pradesh had many a similarities in climatic conditions and added that mutual exchange of expertise was bound to result in achieving the objective of emerging carbon neutral State of the Country in near future.

Emphasizing that ecological conditions of the State had direct impact upon rest of the northern states of the country, he said out of total geographical area of 55,674 sq km, 37,033 sq km was under forest cover. Of the total 45 thousand plant species 3,295, making 7.32 per cent were in Himachal Pradesh.

Prof Dhumal said a major chunk of population of the state inhabited in rural area and the forests had been contributing significantly in absorption of the green house gases to maintain ecological balance in the northern region of the country.

The Chief Minister, while maintaining that Himachal Pradesh was leading in education in the Country with the highest literacy rate, he said people were aware about environment protection a an important subject.


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By Shane Brennan Inside Costa Rica

The dreams of the Global Renewable Energy Education Network Team transformed into reality over winter break when their renewable energy program in Costa Rica launched its pilot session.

Students landed at the San José airport on Jan. 5 and spent 12 days learning and applying renewable energy ideas, enjoying the environment and giving back to the locals.

“Despite having busy days learning different types of energy sources, we would go out and take on adventures which dealt [with] what we learned,” said Melissa Lee, one of the three founders of the GREEN Team. “For example, for geothermal energy, we went to the hot springs near the hotel.”

Ben Lapidus, another team founder, said the Costa Rican natives were also part of the experience.
“The locals were so interested in what we were doing, and the different adventures that we went on really offered a different environment that no classroom could create,” said Lapidus, a School of Arts and Sciences junior.

The trip allowed students to give back to the local community, Lee said.

“We were able to give back to them by developing a rain collection system for a poverty stricken family,” said Lee, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. “We left a lasting impression in Costa Rica, and helping out the locals was our favorite part.”

The program concluded with presentations by pairs of students who reflected on what they learned and how to incorporate their ideas back home.

Overall, the pilot session received positive feedback from the 15 students who traveled.
School of Arts and Sciences junior Dinesh Rai was glad she took the opportunity to learn and volunteer abroad.

“It definitely is a lot more fun than book learning. I would not be so motivated to learn more on my own if it was in a traditional classroom setting,” Rai said. “Looking at everything was awesome. The people, culture and country were amazing.”

School of Arts and Sciences junior Krista Bono said one particular activity, The Capstone Project, put what she learned into action.

“It helped us see things in different perspectives and really think about what we experienced over the past couple of days,” Bono said.

The program also enabled students to earn three credits.

“Costa Rica was amazing, and the program allowed me to learn much more than I would have been able to because it was hands-on and more beneficial than a classroom,” said Brady Halligan, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences junior.

The GREEN Team was created based on three pillars, said founder Mike Naumov.

“Education, adventure and culture is what this program is all about,” said Naumov, a School of Arts and Sciences junior.

The trip’s itinerary was set up so the students could experience all three aspects, Lee said.
Lapidus is optimistic of the program’s future because of its popularity and the recent awareness for environmental protection.

“[Going] green is becoming a big trend. There are going to be a lot of job opportunities opening up for all majors,” Lapidus said. “Our goal is to create a program which will harvest awareness and teach students the major impact it will have.”

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