Forever Costa Rica Program

POR UN SISTEMA DE ÁREAS PROTEGIDAS

CRXS

Founders

The government of Costa Rica, through SINAC and in alliance with external partners—the Linden Trust for Conservation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Walton Family Foundation and TNC—developed the Forever Costa Rica Program (PCRXS).

Reference Documents
  • Annual Report: 2017-2018(pdf)

Forever Costa Rica Program

Introduction

The Forever Costa Rica Program (PCRXS) is a national strategy to meet Costa Rica’s conservation commitments with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Program of Work on Protected Areas.

to achieve consolidation of a system of ecologically representative and efficiently managed protected areas adapted to the effects of climate change and with a source of sustainable financing.

FCRP Components:

  • Ecological representativeness of terrestrial and coastal-marine biodiversity.
  • Effective management of the PWAs.
  • Adaptive capacity to climate change in the PWAs.
  •  Social participation and governance through timely sustainable mechanisms that are socially and
    institutionally legitimated.
Achievements

Some examples of achievements in the 2017-2018 period

Projects Financed by FCRT

Lion Fish Management in Cahuita

The Cahuita community, widely recognized for its national park shared governance model, has a participatory monitoring plan for the lion fish, an exotic invasive species. Support of the fisherman association and neighbors has become a fundamental part of the lion fish control and monitoring efforts carried out by SINAC.

New Santa Elena Bay Marine Management Area

Aware of the importance of caring for the natural richness which sustains their domestic economy, residents of Cuajiniquil, El Jobo, and Puerto Soley in La Cruz, Guanacaste established the Santa Elena Bay as a 732.1 ha MMA.

The Bay receives various breeding marine species including dolphins, whales, turtles, and other pelagic species such as the whale shark, currently in danger of extinction, as well as species of rays, which locals see as a natural resource that they do not want to lose.

During the process of creating this new NPA, neighbors enjoyed the support of partners such as the Waitt Foundation, Guanacaste Conservation Area, GIZ’s BIOMARCC Project, and FCRA.

Sustainable Tourism Management

Management of tourism in NPA should be planned collaboratively by the public and private sectors as well as community groups. Because of the latter’s involvement, visitors can enjoy a nature-based experience with respect that also stimulates the local economy.

Management Effectiveness

Marine monitoring equipment was acquired for the Santa Rosa National Park and camera traps for the implementation of the Exotic Invasive Species Management Plan in Cocos Island National Park. Tools were given to the Cocos Marine Conservation Area to strengthen communication among its staff between San José and the national park. Similarly, the boat for Las Baulas Marine National Park received equipment for ecological monitoring as well as for patrolling in Barra del Colorado National Wildlife Refuge and Tortuguero National Park.

Research and Monitoring Coastal-Marine Resources

During this period, the guide for measuring the baseline and evaluation for wetland and muddy beach bivalve mollusk populations was developed. This is necessary for the sustainable harvest of ark shells, mussels, and clams nationally.

Neotrópica Foundation also helped collect baseline information and monitoring data about marine and coastal fish catches to define selective fishing techniques and seasons, among others. Similarly, the MMA Santa Elena Bay worked on its zoning and fishing database necessary to develop its sustainable use plan. Additionally, support was given to the monitoring and invasive species management for Cocos Island NP. Camera traps were installed to locate species and define a management strategy.

Business Planning

In order to reduce threats to marine ecosystems, a business plan was developed for Cabo Blanco MMA. Working closely with ACEPESA various actions were implemented from the Santa Rosa NP business plan such as the design of a non-essential services concession process that prioritizes benefits for organized groups from local communities to manage these services. With the Tempisque CA, progress was made in the development of a collection and distribution center for responsible marine fishing products required by the marine resource plan for this NPA.

Research and Monitoring Coastal-Marine Resources

During this period, the guide for measuring the baseline and evaluation for wetland and muddy beach bivalve mollusk populations was developed. This is necessary for the sustainable harvest of ark shells, mussels, and clams nationally.

Neotrópica Foundation also helped collect baseline information and monitoring data about marine and coastal fish catches to define selective fishing techniques and seasons, among others. Similarly, the MMA Santa Elena Bay worked on its zoning and fishing database necessary to develop its sustainable use plan. Additionally, support was given to the monitoring and invasive species management for Cocos Island NP. Camera traps were installed to locate species and define a management strategy.

Ecological Integrity Monitoring Program

With the help of LAST, 14 marine protected areas developed monitoring plans and implemented seven of them. As a result, ecosystems such as coral reefs, sandy and rocky beaches, marine turtle nesting beaches, and aggregation sites for marine mammals are being monitored in Playa Hermosa-Punta Mala and Gandoca Manzanillo NWRs; in Cahuita, Cocos Island, Santa Rosa, and Marino Ballena NPs; and in the Caño Island BR.

Climate Change Adaptation Plans

FCRA supported the development of climate change adaptation and migration plans for Marino Ballena NP with the assistance of Keto Foundation as well as for Cahuita NP and the Gandoca-Manzanillo NWR.

In addition, a national effort led by LAST has supported the implementation of a monitoring protocol for beaches affected by climate change as part of the Ecological Integrity Monitoring Program in MPAs.

Projects Financed by the Second Debt for Nature Swap

Talamanca-Caribbean Indigenous Commission

The Strategy for the Participatory Strengthening of the La Amistad National Park World Heritage Site, carried out under the leadership of the Association of Organizations of the Talamanca Caribe Biological Corridor (ACBTC), achieved, among other things, the creation of the Talamanca-Caribbean Indigenous Commission among local indigenous communities to collaborate in biological corridor management.

Community Commitment

Education and democratization increase community commitment around NPA. To this end, the Tropical Science Center developed an environmental education methodological guide for people experiencing disabilities as well as for senior citizens. FUNPADEM also developed environmental awareness teaching materials for communities in Guanacaste and the Southern Zone, such as books and brochures.

Collaborative Solid Waste Management

Given that many NPA communities receive income through recycling aluminum, glass, plastic, and paper, ACEPESA trained employees of Poás Volcano and Irazú Volcano National Parks, Guayabo National Monument, and local actors to improve the solid waste management at these sites.

Training Neighbors and Guides in Poás Volcano National Park

FUNDECOR carried out a project to reopen Poás Volcano National Park during which it trained more than 60 local businesspeople from Poasito and Vara Blanca and 300 tourism guides with respect to new park operations. Five emergency refuges were also built as well as the acquisition of equipment that allowed the park to reopen.

Supported by:

Other Programs

First USA-CR Debt for Nature Swap

Marine Control and Surveillance

Second Debt for Nature Swap

Save Palo Verde

PACÍFICO

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