Costa Rica Environment - 2021


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Environment - current issues

deforestation and land use change, largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching and agriculture; soil erosion; coastal marine pollution; fisheries protection; solid waste management; air pollution

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 15.85 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 8.02 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 5.61 megatons (2020 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 652 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 240 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 2.302 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

113 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands

Land use

agricultural land: 37.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 4.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 6.7% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 25.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 51.5% (2018 est.)

other: 11.4% (2018 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

forest revenues: 0.82% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 58

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 82


urban population: 81.4% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 1.46 million tons (2014 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 18,396 tons (2014 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 1.3% (2014 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Costa Rica on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Costa Rica 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Costa Rica 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.