Costa Rica is a global biodiversity hotspot where an estimated 6% of all known species can be found – totalling over 87,000 species. Over the past decades the government has piloted a number of progressive financing mechanisms, which have helped to reverse forest loss and conserve biodiversity. A Payment for Ecosystem Services Programme was established in the 1990s which provides compensation to farmers for land left aside for forest conservation, contributing to the country's expansion of forest coverage. There are over 160 protected areas, comprising over 13% of the national territory. Costa Rica has been a pioneer in Payment for Ecosystem Services. Starting in 1996, the programme focused on four ecosystem services including carbon sequestration, hydrological services, sustainable biodiversity management and the conservation of natural landscapes for tourism. Costa Rica has already invested USD14 million in PES and nearly one million ha of forest have been covered by the programme. The benefits of PES went beyond environmental conservation, having positive impact on empowering minority groups such as women and indigenous groups.
PIR is completed