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Conserving Costa Rica's Forests


The jungle is reflected in one of the canals of Totuguero National Park, Costa Rica. (file)

Costa Rica’s tropical forests will be better protected thanks to a recent agreement.

Costa Rica’s tropical forests will be better protected thanks to a recent agreement concluded by the Costa Rica government, the United States government, and the Nature Conservancy, a United States non-governmental environmental organization. The agreement will provide more than $27 million over the next 15 years for tropical forest conservation in Costa Rica.

The agreements were made possible by the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1998. Together with a Tropical Forest Conservation Act program established in 2007, these agreements make Costa Rica, one of the most biologically-diverse countries on earth, the largest beneficiary under the Act, with more than $50 million generated for the conservation, restoration, and protection of tropical forests.

The Tropical Forest Conservation Act program will support the efforts of the Costa Rican government, working with the Forever Costa Rica project, a new public-private conservation initiative, to develop and sustainably finance a complete and integrated system of protected areas. The grants will benefit areas such as the Osa Peninsula, including the Terraba-Sierpe mangrove swamps, the Naranjo/Savegre River complex, which contains some of the highest levels of biodiversity in Costa Rica, as well as La Amistad International Park, home to one of Central America’s largest and most diverse ecosystems.

The new agreements were made possible by the contribution of over $19,600,000 by the U.S. government under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, as well as a donation of more than $3,900,000 from the Nature Conservancy. The Tropical Forest Conservation Act provides opportunities for developing countries to reduce concessional debt owed to the United States while generating funds to conserve their forests. The new Costa Rica agreement marks the 17th Tropical Forest Conservation Act agreement. These include agreements with Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Jamaica, Panama, which has signed two agreements, Paraguay, Peru, which has also signed two agreements, and the Philippines, as well as an earlier agreement with Costa Rica.

The United States Government is proud to work with the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica and with its private sector partners to help preserve a treasury of biodiversity unique to this hemisphere and the world.

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