Costa Rican Ambassador on the Environment

Ambassador Jorge Urbina, the Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations, first presented his credentials to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Urbina was a Program Coordinator at the International Centre for Human Development, San José, Costa Rica (1998 to 2006).
Before he served as a permanent consultant at the Program for Democratic Governance in Central America, United Nations Development (1993 to 1998), and held the post of Associate Researcher at Centro de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales in Montes de Oca, Costa Rica (1990 to 1993). During that same three-year period, he was also a professor at the International Affairs School of Universidad Nacional in Heredia, Costa Rica.

He received a master in law degree from the University of Costa Rica in 1973, and obtained a doctorate in law from the Université de Bordeaux, France, in 1977.

Next month, the world will converge in Copenhagen for the United Nation Climate Change Conference and Costa Rica is proposing a similar carbon capture program that was originally brought up in Kyoto 12 years ago.
Costa Rica was one of the first countries to propose a mechanism to capture CO2 produced in developed nations through the forests and national parks.

When the Kyoto Protocol was agreed upon, the challenges of climate change were a distant problem, but today the problem is real. Countries that share their borders with any of the world's oceans are worried that they might lose territory because of the rising sea levels. There is also the increase of violent storms like hurricanes. It's not only the disasters by themselves that have increased, the production cycles of food are changing dramatically with the change of weather.

Costa Rica is also hoping to change the current classification of countries' incomes. Middle-income countries have been "punished" because of this classification. Costa Rica abolished their military 50 years ago and uses that money towards social development programs such as education and health services. Costa rico is not emitting CO2, instead we are absorbing CO2. Middle-income countries like Costa Rica, Uruguay and Panama, which has also abolished their army recently, can receive benefits from international aid.

The Costa Rican National Institute for Biodiversity is developing new pharmaceutical medication and materials. The Institute uses the jungles and forests of Costa Rica as a giant lab.
"We are conducting research to find new drugs for the future, new fuels for the future and also learning the way the animals in the forest have survived, so learning from nature is an opportunity."