A partnership between the Government of Costa Rica and Restor, an open science platform for ecosystem restoration, promises to deliver a greater level of transparency to the country’s conservation and restoration efforts.
As part of the agreement, Costa Rica will publish details about its payment program for ecosystem services (PES) projects on Restor and receive access to global monitoring data and tools.
“By sharing our payment for ecosystem services projects on Restor, Costa Rica is making its commitments on forest loss and recovery transparent, traceable, and accountable. We hope this will inspire other countries to do the same,” said Andrea Meza Murillo, Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment and Energy.
Since 1990, Costa Rica has doubled the size of its forest, becoming the first tropical country to reverse deforestation, going from 34% forest cover in 1977 to 52% today.
“Today, Costa Rica is committed to decarbonizing its economy, an opportunity for innovation and economic growth,” said the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada. “When we protect the environment, we protect our economy,” he emphasized.
A key tactic for reducing deforestation and carbon emissions in an ecological, economic, and socially sustainable way is to make payments for the services ecosystems provide. Under this arrangement, farmers and landowners are paid to manage land so that it continues to provide clean water, clear air, and food production.
“It’s inspiring to see a country committing so much to environmental transparency. Costa Rica is a shining example of what the environmental movement needs,” said Dr. Thomas Crowther, Founder of Restor.
The country is among 141 nations that signed a commitment to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.
“A collaborative effort to share knowledge, facilitate the connections between nature-based projects, and monitor progress is needed to meet international deforestation and restoration commitments,” said Restor’s CEO, Clara Rowe.
Restor is already an online home for more than 100,000 restoration and conservation projects worldwide.
The Government of Costa Rica and Restor connected when both were named as finalists for the 2021 Earthshot Prize, with Costa Rica winning the prestigious award founded by HRH The Duke of Cambridge and the Royal Foundation. “The partnership between Costa Rica and Restor reflects the collaborative and ambitious solutions championed by the Earthshot Prize to repair our planet in the next ten years,” said Christiana Figueres, Chair of the Earthshot Prize Board and former UN Climate Chief.
Restor is an open science platform built to support and accelerate ecosystem restoration. Restor connects people to ecological data, funding, and each other to increase the impact scale and sustainability of restoration and conservation efforts. Founded by ETH Zurich’s Crowther Lab and developed in collaboration with Google, Restor is an Earthshot Prize 2021 Finalist and an official partner of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.