Costa Rica experienced one of the highest rates of deforestation worldwide during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1950, forests covered more than half of the country; by 1995, forest cover had declined to 25 percent of the national territory. Approximately 60 percent of forest cover, totaling 1.2 million hectares, is on privately owned lands outside of national parks and biological reserves. World Bank estimates indicate that 80 percent of deforested areas, nearly all on privately owned lands, were converted to pasture and agriculture. Deforestation was principally driven by the rapid expansion of the road system and by inappropriate policies, including cheap credit for cattle and land titling laws that rewarded deforestation. These policy incentives have since been removed, and Costa Rica has become one of the world's leading proponents of environmentally sustainable development. The development objective of the proposed project is to increase forest conservation in Costa Rica by supporting the development of markets and private sector providers for environmental services supplied by privately owned forests.
Latin America and Caribbean
Implementation Completion Report