Biodiversity Conservation Program

Biodiversity conservation in the Corredor Biológico Talamanca-Caribe - CBTC (Talamanca-Caribbean Biological Corridor) is of great importance for the continuation of the last great fragment of the forest that remains in Costa Rica and that forms part of the buffer zone of La Amistad International Park, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.


The CBTC is home to a great number of endemic species that are in danger of extinction, plants as well as animals, and within its area are two great river basins, the Estrella River and Sixaola River, which bathe the coasts of the Caribbean Sea and interact directly with an important extension of coral reefs.


The Biodiversity Conservation Program groups together a series of 4 sub-programs that support the conservation of biodiversity, environmental education and the formulation of crop alternatives.


Among them are:

A. Investigation

This program aims to have more and better information about our natural resources.  Among other results, an inventory of wildlife and a strategy for their conservation has been established, as well as the monitoring of felines, macro invertebrates and fish.  In addition, the Management Plan for the Carbón River Basin has been developed, some of the components of which have been implemented during the last few years.

Investigative Documents:

  1. Plan de Manejo de la Cuenca del Río Carbón 2004 (Management Plan for the Carbón River Basin 2004).
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  2. Biomonitoreo en la cuenca del río Yorkín, Territorio Indígena BriBri Panamá - Costa Rica. 2003 (Biomonitoring in the Yorkin River Basin, BriBri Indigenous Territory Panamá – Costa Rica. 2003).
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  3. Biomonitoreo de la biodiversidad en bosques y sistemas acuáticos. 2002 (Biomonitoring of the biodiversity in forests and aquatic systems. 2002). 
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  4. Evaluación del recurso faunístico Cuenca del Río Carbón, Fila Carbón, Talamanca. 2006 (Evaluation of animal resources in the Carbón River Basin, Fila Carbón, Talamanca. 2006). 
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  5. Estrategia para el desarrollo sostenible de los bosques en Talamanca. 2003 (Strategy for the sustainable development of the forests in Talamanca. 2003).
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  6. Estudio de la situación forestal en Baja Talamanca. Período 1995-2000. 2001 (Study of the forest situation in Lower Talamanca. Time Period 1995-2000. 2001).
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  7. Los grupos de plantas más destacados del Albergue ASACODE (The most important plant groups at the ASACODE Lodge).
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  8. Plan de Manejo Finca La Guacamaya - Omar Peraza Garro (Management Plan for La Guacamaya Farm – Omar Peraza Garro).
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  9. Valoración del Servicio Ambiental Hídrico en la zona de Talamanca - Costa Rica (Evaluation of Water Environmental Services in the Talamanca area – Costa Rica).
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B. Pago de Servicios Ambientales - PSA (Payment of Environmental Services) 

This program is supported by the Ministerio del Ambiente, Energía y Telecomunicaciones - MINAET - (Environmental, Energy and Telecomunications Ministry) through the Fondo Nacional de Financiamiento Forestal - FONAFIFO - (National Fund for Forest Financing) and provices a financial incentive for people interested in forest conservation, recovery of degraded areas (natural regeneration) and reforestation.  Table 1 shows the different types and distribution of payments per year.


The ACBTC, since 1997, offers technical and legal assistance and is in charge of the administrative management, for the income of the forest landowners as well as owners of farms suitable for reforestation or Agroforestry Systems.  The people who enter the program must sign a contract with FONAFIFO for a period of 5 years, with the possibility to renew the program as many times as desired.  Table 1 details the different types and the distribution of payments per year.


From the period of 2007-2011, the program has totaled 11,581.41 hectares were incorporated in the form of forest protection, water resources and conservation gaps (both on private lands as well as indigenous territories), with a total of 128 projects distributed in the canton of Talamanca.  In the category of reforestation and Agroforestry Systems, 29,750 trees have been included in the same period.


Payment for environmental services has been very important for the conservation of natural resources in the Talamanca region, as it has already contributed to reducing forest fragmentation and to the landowners' valuation of their natural resources. In addition, it has provided supplemental income for local beneficiaries, the majority of which are people with limited resources.


Table 1: Categories and current amounts for the year 2011 (FONAFIFO)


1 2 3 4 5
Forest Protection 320 64 64 64 64 64
Water Resource Protection 400 80 80 80 80 80
Conservation Gaps 375 75 75 75 75 75
Natural Regeneration 320 64 64 64 64 64
Agroforestry Systems 1.3/tree 0.85 0.26 0.20 0 0
Reforestation 980 490 196 147 98 49



Source: Procedures Manual 2009

If you would like to learn more about the entry requirements and payment system, please call Engineer Alejandro Alfaro who is in charge of the program at CBTC at the number 2756-8033, or write to

C. Recuperation of degraded areas

This sub-program is responsible for recuperating areas devoid of vegetarion, primarily in areas of streams, rivers and springs.  However, they try to recuperate and enrich many areas of abandoned pastures, by the introduction of species valuable for the site and its owner.  During the year 2010, 60,000 trees were planted by means of the project "Immediate Response to the Emergency Caused by Flooding in the Talamanca Region", funded by the Small Grants Program of UNDP.


D. Production of forest and fruit species

There is a nursery at the CBTC's facilities in Hone Creek, where they produce exotic and native species.  Currently, the nursery boasts an annual capacity of approximately 120,000 plants.  A percentage of the trees produced are utilized in the program of recovery of degraded areas and in the promotion of environmental education activities in schools and colleges in the area, which are donated by the CBTC to carry out the aforementioned activities.


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