Debt-for-Nature Agreement to Conserve Costa Rica's Tropical Forests

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 15, 2010


The Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Costa Rica, the Central Bank of Costa Rica, and The Nature Conservancy have concluded agreements that will provide more than $27 million over the next 15 years for tropical forest conservation in Costa Rica. The agreements were made possible by the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (TFCA). Together with a previous TFCA program established in 2007, these agreements make Costa Rica, one of the most biologically-diverse countries on earth, the largest beneficiary under the TFCA, with more than $50 million generated for the conservation, restoration, and protection of tropical forests.


The new TFCA program will support the efforts of the Costa Rican Government, working with the Forever Costa Rica project, a new public-private conservation initiative, to develop and sustainably finance a complete and integrated system of protected areas. TFCA grants will benefit areas such as the Osa Peninsula, including the Terraba-Sierpe mangrove swamps, the Naranjo/Savegre River complex, which contains some of the highest levels of biodiversity in Costa Rica, as well as La Amistad International Park, home to one of Central America’s largest and most diverse ecosystems.


The new agreements were made possible by the contribution of over $19.6 million by the U.S. Government under the TFCA, as well as a donation of more than $3.9 million from The Nature Conservancy. The TFCA provides opportunities for eligible developing countries to reduce concessional debt owed the United States while generating funds to conserve their forests. The new Costa Rica agreement marks the 17th TFCA agreement. These include agreements with Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Jamaica, Panama (two agreements), Paraguay, Peru (two agreements), and the Philippines, as well as an earlier agreement with Costa Rica.

PRN: 2010/1472