Side Event: From Costa Rica to the world

  • Administrator
  • September 09, 2015

Sustainable Forest Management of Tropical Forests and Ecosystem Services

During the 90´s, Costa Rica held an annual deforestation rate of 6% and a forest cover of almost only one fourth of its territory. By that time, to conserve a forest by its owner, whether public or private, meant huge sacrifice money wise. Two decades later, Costa Rica has double its forest cover, reaching 52% of its territory. The country became a leader in innovative approaches of conservation and management of natural resources. How was this possible? What happened? Indeed, Costa Rica made a positive move. The country established and operated a breathing lab in the core of its mountains in the early 90´s. It´s work overcame a strict census forestry approach and became an integral one at a national scale.

The technical think tank of this integral approach was FUNDECOR, it trial out Payment for Environmental Services (PES) programs which were later upscale nationally and institutionalized through the leadership of FONAFIFO, it developed control schemes trough detail forest regencies, sophisticated technics for forest management and set out MRV tools. But, on top of that, it proved that for conservation to be efficient and sustainable, it must generate economic inputs to families and industries. In order to share 24 years of accumulated knowledge and experience to the rest of the world, the Costa Rican Green Hub for sustainable management of Tropical Forests and Ecosystem Services is being developed under the leadership of the Costa Rican Government, and the collaborative technical work of FONAFIFO, FUNDECOR, CATIE and other partners. It is intended to serve as as a knowledge management transfer system for practical know-how rooted in science and a powerful source of innovation.

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