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Marine and coastal biodiversity of Costa Rica – capacity-building and climate change adaptation

As of: May 2021

This project was helping to establish a national system of protected areas that encompasses as many ecosystems as possible, is managed efficiently and has stable funding at its disposal. It was setting up biomonitoring structures, and conducting vulnerability and risk assessments of existing and proposed protected areas. Using the insights thus gained, the project developed specific concepts and strategies tailored to meet local needs and challenges, in order to help marine and coastal ecosystems adapt to climate change. Training and advisory services were boosting the management capacities of the competent institutions and of the other actors involved, and plans were being jointly developed which allowed the co-management of the marine and coastal protected areas. Furthermore, the project was developing innovative funding tools specifically for marine and coastal protected areas, such as payment for ecosystem services, and was putting pilot projects in place to test their effectiveness.

State of implementation/results

  • Project completed
  • The formal procedures for a participatory process to negotiate and designate protected areas were defined with SINAC; the process for two areas has started
  • Six management plans have been approved; another four are being completed
  • A local financing mechanism for the Playa Hermosa protected area has been successfully established with the Tourism Board
  • Together with SINAC, the project has assumed the role of clearing house to provide information on the topic 'Management of protected areas and climate change'. So far 13 studies have been published and made available online.
  • MINAE and SINAC received support in preparation for the Mesoamerican Congress of Protected Areas (March 2014).
  • The protected area Montes Submarinos (9,600 km2) has been established and has a management plan. The applications for designating two more marine protected areas have been submitted to the Ministry for the Environment.
  • A total of 14 management plans for protected areas have been approved thus far.
  • The SINAC protected area staff in the regions of intervention have received training, and a coaching process has been provided to support the implementation of environmental monitoring.
  • A local financing mechanism for the Playa Hermosa protected area has been established with the Tourism Board. Another financing mechanism has been set up for conducting trade using conservation credit units according to the Global Conservation Standard.
  • Technical and conceptual support has been provided for the preparation of national strategies.
  • An online training module for marine protected areas has been developed and launched with a local university.
  • The project results were analysed and presented to regional and international audiences at three high-level regional events (Mesoamerican Congress on Protected Areas, Climate Vulnerable Forum of Caribbean Countries, IUCN World Park Congress).
  • The lessons learned on the topic 'Protected area management and climate change' have been published as a guidebook (MARISCO) in English.

Project data

Costa Rica

Implementing organisation:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Political partner(s):
  • National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) - Costa Rica

Implementing partner(s):
  • National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) - Costa Rica

BMU grant:
3.525.707,30 €

12/2010  till  12/2015


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