The Green Climate Fund granted Costa Rica 54.1 million non-reimbursable dollars this week that will go to landowners and indigenous communities that protect forests, and to reinforce forest fire prevention measures in rural areas.
The money is granted to Costa Rica under the modality of “payment for results“, which is a recognition of the country for its environmental policies and the reduction of greenhouse gases, explained the Government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in a joint statement.
In this way, Costa Rica is the first Central American country to receive non-reimbursable funds from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), for its results in climate matters by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GEI), associated with deforestation.
The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, reiterated his country’s commitment to continue working so that the protection of the environment becomes “a source of wealth that improves people’s quality of life, benefits the generation of jobs in the communities and that it takes the country at a good pace towards our goal of being a decarbonized country by the year 2050″.
Funds For Key Programs
Costa Rica had technical support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the REDD + Secretariat to develop and present the proposal to the GCF, which asked to recognize 14.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide captured by the country’s forests. The funds will be executed over the next five years (2021-2026) through programs of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae).
The authorities explained that the money will be invested in strengthening the Environmental Services Payment program, which benefits 24,000 people, and the Forest Fire Control program.
The Payment of Environmental Services is a program in force for 20 years through which private landowners receive an economic income for the protection of forests, species, and water sources on their properties, which has allowed to reverse deforestation. This initiative, which is financed by fuel taxes, also includes rural women and indigenous peoples who have committed to reforestation and the protection of natural resources.
“These funds come at a critical time for Costa Rica, given that the economic crisis has put two of our key environmental programs at serious financial risk: the Forest Fire Prevention and Control Program and the Payment for Environmental Services Program. that benefits 24 thousand people directly each year”, commented the Minister of Environment and Energy, Andrea Meza.
Since the 1980s, Costa Rica has been recovering the forest cover and currently reaches 52% of its territory, according to official data. Costa Rica also keeps a quarter of its territory under the protection and is home to around 6% of the planet’s biodiversity.
“Once again, Costa Rica shows the world that environmental sustainability is economically viable and socially inclusive. We are delighted to be able to support the mobilization of important resources and thus advance in the path of decoupling the financing of environmental protection from the fiscal revenues that come from carbon consumption,” said José Vicente Troya, UNDP resident representative in San José.