Costa Rica is a great success story, and Rodríguez has been one of the country’s most ardent proponents of environmental conservation. From Friedman:
Rodríguez … helped to pioneer the idea that in a country like Costa Rica, dependent on tourism and agriculture, the services provided by ecosystems were important drivers of growth and had to be paid for…. Costa Rica took the view that landowners who keep their forests intact and their rivers clean should be paid, because the forests maintained the watersheds and kept the rivers free of silt.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. What ecosystems give people has great value and we all have to recognize that value.
Check out some of the other places CI is working with local communities and governments, like South Africa and Nepal. Cookstove projects and organic farming are just a few ways local people are drawing importance benefits from their natural environment.