The seven stage of the project Journey into Fragility was recently completed in Costa Rica – after Ghana, Switzerland, Madagascar, Abu Dhabi, China and Singapore. Inspired by the Arenzano Manifesto’s ninth thesis: “The systematic tampering with landscapes all over the earth, and the consequent ecological and aesthetic decay, cause the irreparable loss of the symbolic values embedded in the landscapes themselves” I have investigate the problem of loss of tropical forest. Forests only cover 6% of the earth’s surface, but they host more that 70% of the planet’s living species, compared to its original extent, 50% of the world’s forests have been lost – most of this in the last 30 years. During my stay in Costa Rica I have documented four different parks: Palo Verde National Park, Arenal National Park, Area de Conservation de Guanacaste and Corcovado National Park.
Palo Verde National Park on the banks of the Rio Tempisque is one of the best wildlife and bird watching spots in Costa Rica. It is also important for protecting one of the last significant remnants of the deciduous dry forest of the Neotropics. The total of protected areas in the Tempisque river basin encompasses 73.000 ectares and presents 15 different habitats thus being one of the Costa Rica's most biological diverse sites. Palo Verde harbours Costa Rica's largest population of jaguarundis, 55 species of reptiles and amphibians (the largest concentration in Costa Rica), and 75 species of mammals.
Arenal National Park has the most active volcano in the country. Primary cloud forest and rainforest cover Arenal National Park, which abounds with flora and fauna species in multiple life zones, innumerable rivers, waterfalls and thermal hot springs. The park also contains a second volcano, Chato, whose crater contains a lagoon. The park lies within the 2,040 square kilometres, protecting eight of Costa Rica's 12 life zones and 16 protected reserves in the region between the Guanacaste and Tilarán mountain ranges, and including Lake Arenal.
Area de Conservation de Guanacaste consists of four of the five main tropical eco-systems: marine/coastal, dry forest, foggy forest and rain forest and these are all inter-related. It represents the new world’s only preserved area of this type. In this bio-geographic block, which makes up 2% of Costa Rica’s total area, there are 335,000 species of land organism, equal to 2.6% of the world’s biodiversity. This is one of the reasons why it was declared part of the Unesco World Heritage in 1999.
Corcovado National Park is a National Park in the Osa Peninsula in south western Costa Rica, which is part of the Osa Conservation Area. It encompasses an area of 425 km². It is widely considered the crown jewel in the extensive system of national parks and biological reserves spread across the country. The ecological variety is quite stunning. National Geographic has called the Corcovado National Park as "the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity". The park conserves the largest primary forest on the American Pacific coastline and one of the few remaining sizeable areas of lowland tropical rainforest in the world.