While natural resources provide often-essential environmental services to human beings, the benefits that the environment provides tend to be undervalued by a lot of people. Recognition of this problem and rampant deforestation in Costa Rica has led to efforts by the government to develop an institutional framework for the systematic protection and non-destructive use of natural capital. The preservation of forests, in particular tropical forests such as those found in Costa Rica, are crucial in the global efforts to mitigate climate change, protect fresh water sources and safeguard the incredible amounts of biodiversity living in these areas. Under the solution known as the "Payments for Environmental Services" (PES) Program, owners of areas rich in natural resources were rewarded for keeping their forested land intact or managing it in a sustainable way. The commoditization of services allows for the recognition of the importance of market-based mechanisms for conservation and restoration of forests, as the market, guided by the free expression of individual consumer and producer choices, will lead to the maximization of the well being of society as a whole. As a result, Costa Rica has been able to take care of its common-pool resources through the collective action of its people. The PES has been partly credited for helping the country, once known as having one of the world's highest deforestation rates, achieve negative deforestation. Moreover, it has made of Costa Rica a pioneer of market-based conservation polices and its model has been replicated in other areas suffering from the same problems.
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Costa Rica, Deforestation|
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