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Midterm evaluation of the FORESTA Project

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 12:07 PM
Contributors: USAID

KEYWORD: Community-based Natural Forest Management, Central America. Central America, Costa Rica, farm forestry, financing, forest enterprises, sustainable forestry, agroforestry, buffer zone, conservation, protected areas, reforestation, extension, institutional strengthening, training, community participation, education, evaluation. SUMMARY: The FORESTA project was initiated to develop forestry and agroforestry in the buffer zones and support management of the parks of the Cordillera Central Conservation Area (ACCVC) in Costa Rica. To accomplish these goals, support has been given to FUNDECOR, an independent private foundation that provides direction, technical assistance, coordination and funding. The goals of the evaluation were to review progress towards achieving the output goals, and to assess the institutional development and implementation capability of FUNDECOR. Project achievements include: The establishment of FUNDECOR; Participatory development of strategic plans for the ACCVC; Progress toward financial self-sufficiency of the ACCVC parks from payments of user fees and concessions; Upgraded park facilities; Delineation of park boundaries; 0 Sustainable forest management of 12,500 ha; Introduction of an auction system for selling timber from managed forests; Streamlining of bureaucratic requirements; Use of native tree species for reforestation. Environmental education programs, effective judicial action on protected area violations, boundary demarcation, forestry enterprise development, and the incorporation of forestry on farms and ranches have had less than satisfactory success. The authors note that FORESTA has shown that parks can generate an important share of their operating revenues and contribute to local incomes while promoting conservation. However, without complementary development, the ACCVC's ability to generate direct local revenues is limited. Efforts to increase benefits to local communities should include granting food, guide and craft concessions to local people, clarifying land tenure surrounding parks, and soliciting community participation in park land acquisition programs. Highest priority recommendations include: Continuation of collaboration among organizations; Securing long-term project funding; FUNDECOR's leadership role in conservation and training activities; Implementation of participatory community programs. In addition, the authors recommend that park management, operations and administration, and tree planting on farms should be further explored and developed.

Author(s): USAID

Publication Date: 1995

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