SWAROVSKI OPTIK, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-precision long-range optics, recently embarked on an initiative to protect 115 hectares (285 acres) of tropical rainforest on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. The Tyrolean family-owned company’s objective for this ambitious SWAROVSKI OPTIK RAINFOREST project is to actively contribute to preserving global biodiversity. Its key focus is preventing the destruction of natural habitat through poaching, illegal logging, squatting, or any kind of land degradation. The intention is to continually expand the protected area in the medium term.
The region chosen by SWAROVSKI OPTIK for its conservation project is one of the world’s most primeval rainforests distinguished by its incredible biodiversity. 2.5 percent of the world’s species can be found here on just 1,813 square kilometers (700 square miles). However, rapidly growing tourism, unregulated development, and the extraction of natural resources are changing the landscape and natural habitats at an unprecedented speed. “The SWAROVSKI OPTIK rainforest is located in a key area between the Piedras Blancas National Park and the Corcovado National Park. This area represents a critical corridor with great significance for biodiversity. Through our actions to conserve nature and biodiversity, we are making a major impact on a small area,” says Stefan Hämmerle, Member of the Executive Board – Marketing and Sales at SWAROVSKI OPTIK, explaining this commitment.
Studies, citizen science, and close cooperation with the local community
The focus of the first actions implemented by SWAROVSKI OPTIK in Costa Rica, as part of studies and citizen science projects, is on gaining a better understanding of the local flora and fauna. The aim is to assess the suitability of the plot for the release and reintroduction of endangered or locally extinct species. A reforestation project has also been initiated. “Close cooperation with the local community and like-minded NGOs is essential for the success of our project. We plan to work together to develop measures to promote environmental education and conservation activities within the region,” says Stefan Hämmerle, summing up the steps planned for the coming months.
Sustainability at SWAROVSKI OPTIK: biodiversity as one of three pillars
Love of nature and a sustainable mindset and behavior have been deeply rooted within the SWAROVSKI OPTIK corporate culture for decades. The Tyrolean family-owned company is guided by its own values and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Its sustainability policy is based on three pillars: Reducing its environmental footprint, Social Responsibility, and Biodiversity. The SWAROVSKI OPTIK rainforest is part of the Biodiversity pillar.