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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Conservation Area: A Success in Restoring its Forests

RESTOR chose the Guanacaste Conservation Area as one of the best success stories for its forest restoration. The Guanacaste Conservation Area stands out among the 20 most interesting restoration cases worldwide.

“Last year, a colleague familiar with the Restoration Cases project led by Forestoration International suggested I contact Monique Gilbert and Eric Palola of the Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund.

We were looking for restoration projects that met our selection criteria for flagship cases: a clear track record of success and multiple outcomes that benefited both people and nature with extensive information on activities, actors, stakeholders, and results,” explained Robin L. Chazdon from Forestoration International.

RESTOR is a collaborative network that works with thousands of restoration projects and leading organizations worldwide to strengthen the environmental restoration movement.

“We wanted to tell the story of how and why restoration projects are implemented, who is involved, and link specific actions to well-documented outcomes and benefits,” added Chazdon.

She also explained that the initial study at the Guanacaste Conservation Area began with research and other activities in 1985. She mentioned that government officials, NGO’s and researchers played a major role.

For her, the case was extremely valuable and a great learning experience. It was a project she truly enjoyed.

“I learned how special the Guanacaste Conservation Area is and why those who work so hard every day to protect it. The Guanacaste Conservation Area is a world of different ecosystems that interact with each other and the people who live there,” she commented.

Robin L. Chazdon indicated that one of the most important points is that “people and nature must work together, as members of the same team, to protect and enrich forest landscapes for future generations.”

According to the Forestation International representative, the magnitude of forest restoration in the area is beyond any other, and the “forest recovered largely on its own through fire prevention and careful livestock management.”

The case study also highlights that biodiversity knowledge is not just for scientists; all Costa Rican people can truly learn and benefit from an intimate connection with nature.

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