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Costa Rica's National Parks Contribute One Trillion Colones to Economy


Field station on Isla San José, headquarters for the Islas Murciélago, located in Sector Marino of ACG.

An article in Periódico Mensaje reports on a recent study that found that Costa Rica’s national parks contribute one trillion colones (about $1.6 billion USD) to the country’s economy. The study, “Contributions of National Parks and Biological Reserves to the Socioeconomic Development of Costa Rica, 2018: Baseline for the Analysis of the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was designed not just to look at the ecological importance of the parks, but also the economic, social and institutional benefits. Carried out by the Centro Internacional de Política Económica para el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Universidad Nacional (CINPE-UNA) with the help of the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación (SINAC), the study found, not surprisingly, that companies dedicated to tourism activities most benefited from the existence of the national parks and biological reserves. Tourism took 81.7 percent of the benefit; other sectors seeing benefit were water quality and quantity for hydropower; the parks themselves via entrance fees; and those who received payments for ecosystem services.