Introduction to Forest Acquisition and Management

The Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund (GDFCF) was founded in part to channel donations for "willing seller-willing buyer" land purchases to continue building a landscape-level protected area that became the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) as we know it today. Although the early land purchase focus was on acquiring, protecting, and restoring forests in the highly endangered Pacific tropical dry forest zone, the effort soon spread to the three other ecosystems in ACG, since the parallel close look at their biodiversity and ecology revealed that each ecosystem needed to be restored and saved in order to conserve any one of them. This has led to ACG becoming one of the crown jewels of Costa Rica's national system of protected areas due to its size, consolidation, diversity and decentralized and highly horizontal management philosophy.

GDFCF's work continues both in land acquisition to build greater biological completeness and in ongoing responsibilities of on-site biodiversity and land management on site. As the manager of roughly 12% of the terrestrial land base of ACG, we actively participate in Costa Rica's unique system of environmental service payments (Pagos de Servicios Ambientales, administered by the government's National Forest Finance Fund, FONAFIFO) and we work closely with other ACG staff to facilitate conservation management and non-damaging biodiversity development through both public and private ownerships.

Cacao old growth

Old growth forest in Sector Cacao