The Talamanca-Caribbean Biological Corridor Association (ACBTC1) is a second-tier non-governmental, non-profit organization declared to be of public interest. Its members are 19 organizations from Talamanca including associations of the following groups: community development, indigenous development, small farmers and conservationist associations; all with a common interest in promoting the protection and sustainable management of the region's natural resources.
The ACBTC leads a participative process of civil society seeking biodiversity protection, which has allowed it to develop a model of real and permanent participation, strengthening a regional forum for itself as well as for its members.
The ACBTC emerged as a response from local organizations located in the South Caribbean of Costa Rica to face the problems facing the region, exacerbated by serveral natural phenomena such as the earthquake in Limón in 1991 and the frequent floods that paralyzed the regional economy during that time, causing a growing and progressive deterioration of the environment, in particular due to the selective removal of species and deforestation.
In response, the Association set to work in 1992, establishing a permanent forum of civil society, uniting a series of independent efforts that several organizations were developing, increasing its chance to impact and negotiate with different institutions.
Its Board of Directors, responsible for determining the policies and directives for the Organization's operation, is comprised of the following:
President: José Luis Zúñiga Zúñiga, representative of the Asociación Sanmigueleña de Conservación y Desarrollo (ASACODE) / San Miguel Conservation and Development Association.
Vice President: Adelina López, representative of the Asociación de Pequeños y Medianos Empresarios Ecológicos de Gandoca (ASOPYMEGA) / Gandoca Association of Small and Medium Ecological Entrepreneurs.
Secretary: Sebastián Hernández Balma, representative of the Asociación Kéköldi Wak Ka Koneke / Kéköldi Wak Ka Koneke Association.
Treasurer: Juanita Baltodano Vílchez, representative of the Asociación de Pequeños Productores de Talamanca (APPTA) / Small Farmer's Association of Talamanca.
Vocal: Cristian Rodrígez, representante de ASIDECO.
Fiscal: Marina López, representative of the Asociación de Mujeres Productoras de Watsi (AMUPROWA) / Women Producer's Association of Watsi.
In terms of administration, the ACBTC is located within the Cahuita, Bratsi, Telire and Sixaola districts in the canton of Talamanca, Limon province (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Geographical Location of the Talamanca-Caribbean Biological Corridor Association
Currently the ACBTC includes the following organizations: ACOMUITA, ASOPYMEGA, ASIDECO, ASODECC, ATEC, APPTA, EL YÜE, Kéköldi Wak Ka Koneke, ANAI, ASACODE, AMUPROWA, WIDECAST, ADITIBRI, ADITICA, Manzanillo Development Association (ADI), ADI Kéköldi, ADI Gandoca, ADI Hone Creek (Figure 2).
Figure 2: A picture of some of the members of the ACBTC
The financial sustainability of the organization seeks to maintain economic stability to perform its diverse activites and to fulfill its objectives. Among the activities executed one may encounter:
b.Payment for Environmental Services
c.Recuperation of Degraded Areas
d.Cultivation of timber-yielding and fruit-bearing trees
g.Diversification of Agricultural Products
j.Agroforestal Systems: living fences
k.Community-Based Rural Tourism
1Note that all acronyms referenced are in their original Spanish form with the exception of WIDECAST which is already in English and the names of organizations have been translated into English.