Nicoyan Peninsula

Costa Rica

The Nicoyan Peninsula is a site of significant conservation importance as it sits between three of Costa Rica’s protected areas (Diria National Park, Ostional Turtle Reserve, Guanacaste Conservation Area). Restoring the natural habitat of Nicoya would therefore create a biological corridor linking these existing protected areas and providing a major regional boost to biodiversity. It would also create large areas of tropical dry forest, one of the most threatened ecosystems in Costa Rica but which plays a key role in carbon storage and water reserves. Less than 50% of the original area of tropical dry forest in the Americas survives today, so this project would have not only a national impact, but a regional one too.

But at present the area is dominated by deforested land, originally for cattle ranching although many ranchers have now abandoned the land or sold it to corporations, and this project aims to work with local communities and landowners to help nature recover on pastureland. Local NGO “Connecting the Roots” is already rewilding a 67 hectare area of grassland as a demonstration project but are seeking funding to rewild 2500 hectares in the short term and ultimately 10,000 hectares in the long-term. There is therefore significant scope to scale the project beyond its initial goals, either in partnership with a single funder or by packaging the area into a number of smaller projects.

As with all our projects, there would be a strong community element to ensure those that use and rely on the land are rewarded by its restoration. This would include job creation and skills development for local cattle farmers exiting the industry, research into SMART farming incorporating local ecological knowledge into continuing farming practices, and investment into local infrastructure to improve quality of life.

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