Selected Case Studies from the Americas
Edited by Mohammed H.I. Dore and Rubén Guevara
Chapter 9: Forest policy in Costa Rica
1 Olman Segura-Bonilla INTRODUCTION In Costa Rica, as in other Central American countries, the forest has been irrationally exploited and, if the current style of management is not changed, the maintenance and recuperation of forest cover will be increasingly difﬁcult. According to several studies, as we will see below, it would be ideal if, in the future, Costa Rica could maintain and even expand its natural systems by means of policies that are clearly understood. In order to reach this goal, profound institutional and economic changes must be made in the society. The institutional changes refer to customs, routines, behaviour patterns and the way resources are used. The economic changes correspond to the creation of new systems of incentives and alliances for the forest sector as well as for the activities that have traditionally competed with the forest. The process of economic development establishes a legal and institutional environment which directs and inﬂuences land use, including forests.2 Several authors (such as Pasos, 1994; Segura, 1996) have pointed out that in Costa Rica the predominant search for economic growth, and particularly the increase in the export of farm products, has generated a pattern of agricultural development characterized by a strong dependence on energy input and on land which is not suitable for farming. Agricultural expansion into forest land and the use of inadequate production practices usually has caused the overexploitation of this type of land. Forest land was not valued adequately and the value of forest resources was reduced...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.