Costa Rica showing the world its biodiversity finance ambitions, and action.

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Costa Rica, the small Central American country with big biodiversity value has stood out as a forerunner for environmental conservation in the region. It has promoted technological innovation, knowledge and research, citizen participation, sustained economic development, decreased inequalities, and socio-environmental security.

While making up just one third of a percent of the Earth’s landmass, Costa Rica contains 4-5% of species estimated to exist on the planet. It was the evolutionary bridge between the Americas and its varied mountainous, tropical forest and marine ecosystems and a tropical climate have seen a mega-diverse number species call it home. 

But sustaining its ambitious conservation goals in a transforming and modernising economy with appropriate biodiversity finance efforts is a constant challenge.

BIOFIN has been instrumental in assessing the countries biodiversity related finance expenditure, formulating its needs and creating a robust biodiversity finance plan to sufficiently fund conservation in the future.

"The Project seeks to identify the money that is needed so the country can achieve its Biodiversity Strategy."  said Guillermo Zuñiga, BIOFIN Advisor for Costa Rica and former Minister of Finance.

"We call it the biodiversity deficit (or gap). BIOFIN proposes innovative ways to mobilize resources to address this deficit," he said.

It was found this gap is between US $25 and $50 million annually to successfully achieve the national biodiversity targets and goals as set out in the National Biodiversity Strategy (ENB2) – which BIOFIN contributed to formulating.

Eighteen finance solutions have been identified in a prioritized investment profile and BIOFIN is supporting the implementation of three of these finance solutions.

The first is with indigenous groups through a participatory process on sustainable tourism to be financed through innovative mechanisms such as impact investment.

The second is a project related to sustainable production practices that supports local financial institutions to work with small and medium enterprises in the country to transform their productive processes to be more environmentally friendly. This includes, better use of energy, waste management, more sustainable raw materials, and mitigation of environmental harm.

The third is the creation of green bonds to pay for existing and future debts associated with the purchase of land for protected areas.

Kifah Sasa, Sustainable Development Officer of UNDP, said a state financial entity will be created collecting the entrance fees to the Protected Areas and efforts will be taken to increase the revenue from protected areas.

"From the generated liquidity, green bonds will be issued to contribute to the purchase of lands for protected areas, and towards the land purchase debt built up by in the country for 40 years," he said.

BIOFIN Costa Rica also supported the creation of an engaging online portal to monitor the implementation of the national biodiversity strategy and its projects. The online portal found at will strengthen the Government and all stakeholders involved in conservation finance awareness and progress in achieving the goals of the strategy by 2025.

See all the new publications published by BIOFIN Costa Rica in the Knowledge Platform on this website.