Biodiver_CITY – Establishment of Interurban Corridors

Half of the population of Costa Rica lives in the San José metropolitan area, whose expansion is causing ecosystem loss. Citizens lack local green spaces for relaxation and recreation, the concreting-over of land causes flooding and erosion, the water quality declines, and vital habitats for flora and fauna are lost. This also has negative impacts on the health of the population, the urban infrastructure and on business sectors at a local and national level. The project was therefore supporting key actors like the Ministry of the Environment in their efforts to integrate ecosystem services and interurban biocorridors into sustainable city planning. The focus here was on frameworks, statutory instruments and tools for urban planning, as well as building up implementation and cooperation capacities for the management of interurban biocorridors. Project work promoted the sharing of innovative approaches and the formation of strategic partnerships in city and biocorridor planning.

Project data

Costa Rica
IKI funding
2,750,000.00 €
11/2018 till 06/2023
Implementing organisation
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Political Partner
  • Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) - Costa Rica
Implementing Partner
  • City of Alajuelita - Costa Rica
  • City of Curridabat - Costa Rica
  • City of Goicoechea - Costa Rica
  • City of La Unión - Costa Rica
  • City of Montes de Oca - Costa Rica
  • City of San Jose - Costa Rica
  • City of Tibas - Costa Rica
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH (UFZ)
  • National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) - Costa Rica

State of implementation/results

  • Project completed.
  • The project website and Facebook site inform about current progress, events and products.
  • In 08/2022, the Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, Tobias Lindner, visited the community of San Francisco de Goicoechea in the capital San José and inspected nature-based solutions used by the population to upgrade their neighborhood. The small initiatives are part of several packages of measures that are being implemented at various locations in the capital San José thanks to the support of the BiodiverCity project.
  • In August 2022, 50 employees from municipal administrations, state institutions, academic institutions and civil society received training on the concepts and instruments of the "Ciudad Verde" (Green City) program. A training-of-trainers course took place during the second phase of the programme (03/2023). The aim is to integrate the concepts of the Green City in urban planning to advance biodiverse and sustainable urban areas. The minister for the environment and energy, Franz Tattenbach, presented the initiative „Ciudad Verde“ to the wider public (06/2022).
  • A free atlas of ecosystem services in the metropolitan region of San Jose has been jointly developed with the Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ) and the CATIE institute for agricultural research (Recording of the online event for of the atlas presentation…). Due to the high demand, the atlas data are currently being expanded and upgraded using high-resolution satellite images for the entire metropolitan region and in 02/2023 a training on that matter took place. --In 01/2022 a guideline for naturebased action in the metropolitan region of San José (OSE GAM) was published which is accessible online ( The tool is primarily directed at decision makers in municipal authorities.
  • 15 small scale urban greening projects for San José Greater Metropolitan Area have been financed. The project provided EUR 300,000 of funds for innovative ideas. In addition, the benefiting organisations contributed EUR 240,000. 7 hectares of green space have been restored, 200 households have improved their waste management practices, 16 new community gardens provide a source of food and recreational space, 75 households use beehives to supplement their income, and 1500 trees were planted improve the city's climate. – In 10/2023, after 4 years of running, the project presented its results to a wider audience together with the partner ministry MINAE.

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