Costa Rica is a leader in payments for environmental services (PES) and has established compensation landowners for protecting conserving their local environments. Protecting biodiversity in Costa Rica as eco-tourism is one the country’s biggest business sectors.
Although some argue that turning nature into a commod
ity will give power and profit to corporations and financial elite, others state Costa Rica’s eco systems have been disappearing because their true value been established.
Costa Rica began to implement PES in the 90’s. Costa Rica realized that action was needed against deforestation and fresh water-way course destruction and passed laws that prohibited deforestation and began to implement a structure to broker environmental service deals.
With this 25% of water tax revenue in Costa Rica is reserved for paying for environmental services and eco system protection in key watersheds areas.
Another aspect is a green bank debit card that raises money for conservation by allowing people to receive points as they use the card and are donated to biodiversity funds.
Furthermore, carbon credits can be earned by small farmers protecting their land which are then brokered to industries off-setting greenhouse gas emissions.
Because of the ever rising cost of Costa Rica real estate farmers often look at other ways that are highly profitable uses for their land such as cash crops like pineapple, coffee, etc.
Other benefits of PES is that it supports projects such as small enterprises for women, furniture workshops, and scholarships.
Costa Rica’s innovative approach to preservation of eco systems is unique and every more important as more investment and development spills into Central America from global enterprises looking for free grass lands to exploit.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica