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Beyond PES and REDD+: Costa Rica on the way to climate-smart landscape management?

Linda Wallbott, Technische Universitšt Darmstadt, Germany
Giuseppina Siciliano, Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK
Markus Lederer, Technische Universitšt Darmstadt, Germany


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Costa Rica has a strong international reputation for conservation and sustainable management of forests, including through its national payments for environmental services (PES) system and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). However, to be able to take those achievements to the next level, new approaches need to be developed that integrate agriculture and environmental politics, e.g., to foster climate-smart landscape management. This would be in line with the idea of a green transformation as a necessary contribution to bring human social-ecological action back within planetary boundaries. We start from a general conceptualization of a green transformation and its potential drivers, then analyze the basis and prospects for such developments by providing a review of the country’s forest politics, including a mapping of relevant stakeholders that have been influential in designing and implementing the national PES and REDD+ approaches. Based on original empirical analysis that was conducted throughout 2017, we further analyze recent institutional developments of setting up a cross-sectoral policy for agriculture and environment as part of a broader landscape management approach, including the opportunities and challenges that might arise with a view to realizing this idea on the ground.

Key words

climate-smart agriculture; Costa Rica; landscape management; payments for environmental services (PES); reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)

Copyright © 2019 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087