A city in Costa Rica gave citizenship to plants, bees, and trees, according to the Guardian. Curridabat, a city in San Jose, Costa Rica’s has proven its equally passionate about biodiversity and people.

Edgar Mora, the former mayor, spoke to the Guardian about his choice to grant citizenship to each bee, bat, humingbird and butterfly as a citizen of Curridabat, and it starts with bees.

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“Pollinators were the key. Pollinators are the consultants of the natural world, supreme reproducers and they don’t charge for it. The plan to convert every street into a biocorridor and every neighbourhood into an ecosystem required a relationship with them,” says Mora.  The city is now christened, “Ciudad Dulce” or “Sweet City.”

And the designated residents get infrastructure to match their citizenship. Reforestation projects, native species planting, greenspaces and biocorridors are just some of the benefits that bees will receive in the Sweet City. These measures help slow urbanization, a significant threat to biodiversity.

“The idea came from a narrative that people in cities are prone to defending nature when it is far away, when it is a distant concept, but they are negligent when it comes to protecting nature in their immediate environment,” says Mora, “Urban development should be, at least to some extent, aligned with the landscape instead of the other way round.”

Costa Rica is a leader in environmental measures. The country has plans to be carbon neutral by 2050 and currently gets 98% of its energy from renewable sources. Read more about Costa Rica, as well as other cities that are leading environmental innovation, check out these articles:

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