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Forestry and the environment: Costa Rica case study

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 09:11 AM
Contributors: Phillip Church, Robert Mowbray, Nora Berwick, Roberto Martin

This USAID evaluation examines activities of the FORESTA project in the protected area and buffer zones of Costa Rica's Central Volcanic Cordillera Conservation Area (ACCVC).FORESTA was initiated in 1989 after approximately 20 years of USAID funding of other programs promoting export-led growth. FORESTA channels its support through NGO's such as FUNDECOR. FORESTA and collaborating NGOs simplified the preparation of natural forest management plans, introduced logging contracts that promote minimization of forest damage and rapid regeneration, established native-species tree plantations that provide jobs and biological resources (seeds, enhancement of land, etc), created an endowment for NGO start-up costs.FORESTA supports the Foundation for the Development of the Central Volcanic Cordillera (FUNDECOR), an NGO that provides technical assistance and funding for sustainable management of land in the ACCVC area. USAID and the Costa Rican government will use proceeds from a debt-forgiveness program to fund these operations after FORESTA support ends. FUNDECOR provides training, supervision and contractual agreements to support sustainable forestry; training, funding, technical assistance for native tree nurseries; technical and administrative support for reforestation with native species; support for publications; and assistance to landowners with degraded pastures.The author attributes project success to: Creativity in forest management approaches; Cooperative and supportive political and social framework; Availability of technology including GIS; Recruitment of professional and trained staff; Involvement of research and education institutions; Strong USAID project management support; Modest government subsidies. Furthermore, the author notes that increased efficiency (economic return) in reforestation and land management has resulted from efforts to reduce plan development and planting costs and to increase timber prices. The author draws two lessons useful to future support of local NGOs: 1) Contracting for services such as FORESTA's contract with FUNDECOR, can be efficient and effective; 2) Long-term projects need long-term funding.

Author(s): Phillip Church , Robert Mowbray , Nora Berwick , Roberto Martin

Publication Date: 1996

Location: Central America

Download File from Portal: PNABS531 Costa Rica.pdf — PDF document, 502 kB (514,351 bytes)

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