With only 51.100 km2 of surface area, (0.03% of the world’s total) and 589.000 km2 of sea territory, Costa Rica is considered one of the 20 countries with greater biodiversity in the world.  Its geographic position, All living creatures depend on nature, more specifically, on biodiversity, because it provides the services required by the ecosystems for our well-being.

Biodiversity refers to all living things, the whole variety of organisms, microorganisms, genes, species and ecosystems.  Ecosystems determine an area’s capability to regulate its vital processes like water, carbon and hydrogen cycles; living organisms sustain the soil that provides us with food, nourish the woods that cleans our air and filter the water we drink; they play a very important role defining our weather, pollinating crops and diminishing the probability of landslides and floods, amongst many other things.

Microorganisms, flora and wildlife provide crucial knowledge to biological, medical and pharmacological industries that benefit human beings.  Without biodiversity we couldn’t achieve diminishing poverty, hunger and sickness.  Biodiversity is also an essential element our identities and cultures.  Biological wealth is essential for our day to day life and our economical development. It is one of the resources with more potential known to humankind, whether it is with intellectual or financial purposes, or as a development tool for countries.

The tropical region of America (neotropic), where Costa Rica is, host the greatest species and ecosystem diversity and a wide range of diverse interactions compared to other tropical regions in the world.  Of course, this diversity is also greater than in cold and mild weathers.

Costa Rica is one of the 20 countries with most biodiversity in the world and it hosts the largest groupings on earth; approximately 500.000 species live in only 51.000 km2 (which represents .03% of the world’s total surface) and 589.000 km2 of oceans, that is, nearly 4% of the total estimated species in the world. Some of this species can only be found in Costa Rica, which makes its preservation a matter of global significance.  The country is acknowledged for its outstanding efforts to protect its biodiversity through a web of protected areas that cover more than 25% of its territory.

The administration of the Costa Rica’s biological wealth is in the hands of the Environment and Energy Ministry (MINAE), and within it specifically to the National System of Protected Areas (SINAC), responsible of conservation and sustainable promotion of the country’s biodiversity. 

SINAC is in charge of 11 protecter areas around the country and a Superior Management Office for technical support. These 11 areas are the regions that MINAE established for a decentralized management of biodiversity, with active participation of the neighboring communities.  The community participation is very important for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in a local, national and global level.  INBio works hand in hand with SINAC since its beginning, specially from 1998 through the joint program: INBio-SINAC


The country has a bit more than 25% of its territory under some kind of protection and is constantly increasing thanks to private investors, by creating private reservoirs specially dedicated to ecotourism and research.  This is a conservation effort done by very few countries in the world, and in which, Costa Rica has invested big for present and future generations.

To achieve conservation of the protected areas and natural resources in the long run, all the possible knowledge and information through inventories, scientific studies and society valuation are necessary.  There are studies that give out basic and apllied information about the county’s biological wealth (what species are there, where, what are they good for, conservation status, etc.)


The legal frame for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is very wide in Costa Rica, and it has been strengthened with the Biodiversity Law implementation, approved in 1998, and the formulation, through a very local and national participative process, of the National Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Strategy, made official in 1999.  The biodiversity law, established that the Biodiversity Management National Comission (CANAGEBIO) is also responsible, along with SINAC, of managing the country’s natural resources. 

Completing the national work in legal matters, there are several agreements signed and reaffirmed by Costa Rica in regional and international matter, such as the Biological Diversity, which controls the trafficking of endangered species, called CITES, and the Wetlands or RAMSAR among many other.


Proyectos en Ejecución


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Desde inicios del 2012, y auspiciada por la Unión Europea, se ejecuta esta iniciativa con la participación del Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio), en asocio con la Fundación para la Paz y la Democracia (FUNPADEM).

Leer más:   Manos a la costa! 




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INBio ofrece a sus clientes soluciones integrales y les genera nuevas opciones, que incidan de manera positiva en la conservación y utilización sostenible de la biodiversidad por medio de sus actividades y proyectos.

Para mas información: Asesorías





Servicios de Información







 Base de datos de Especímenes