Historical background

Premio Ancora

At the end of the 1980s, it became clear that Costa Rica needed a national institution whose priority would be to gather knowledge on the country’s biological diversity, its conservation and its sustainable use.

As a result, Executive Decree No. 19153, of June 5 1989, established the Planning Commission for the National Institute of Biodiversity, a body consisting of representatives from various governmental institutions, higher education centers and non-governmental conservation organizations.

The Commission advised the Costa Rican government to create a state biodiversity institute with a high degree of autonomy. However, given the political difficulties involved and the limited viability of the proposal, the government was unable to implement this recommendation. Faced with this situation, the commission members themselves decided to put their idea into practice and created a private, non-profit association. The initiative received official backing and, since then, successive governments have supported the institution’s activities.


An intense process to find sources of financing began. In addition to a loan for approximately 80 million colones, the emerging institution also received funds from the Swedish Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and a generous donation from the MacArthur Foundation of the United States to support its development.

Rodrigo Gamez recibiendo premio Asis enero del 92On October 26 of that year, a small group of people met in a warehouse that was in the process of being remodeled, located on a plot of land in Santo Domingo de Heredia, to celebrate the granting of legal status to the Biodiversity National Institute Association. INBio had been born.





Many national and international awards and acknowledgements have been presented to INBio thanks to its work in the conservation field and the innovative mechanisms used by INBio to promote knowledge and rational use of Costa Rica’s biodiversity, some of them are:





National Award to the Institution’s Contribution to Agriculture and rural development.

Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura (IICA), El Ministerio de Producción y la Universidad Nacional


Editorial Business in Science and Technology

Consejo Nacional para Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (Conicit)


Second best Iberamerican portal.

Asociación Hispanoamericana de Centros de 2005 Investigación y Empresas de Telecomunicaciones (AHCIET)


First Place, II National Webpage Competition

Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología, ICE y RACSA


Augusto González de Linares in Environment

Universidad de Cantabria, Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio del Gobierno de Cantabria y la Empresa de Residuos de Cantabria


“Tech Museum 2003: Technology that benefits humankind”

Museo Tech de Innovación (Tech Museum of Innovation)


Premio a la Empresa Editorial en Ciencia y Tecnología

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (CONICIT)


INBioparque as a member of the Creativity Map.

Next Generation Forum Roundtable & LEGO Company


Touristic Business Merit

Cámara Nacional de Turismo (Canatur)


Friend of Nature

Asociación Costarricense de Profesionales en Turismo


Research bennefiting the environment and future generations award

Feria Verde


Premio Príncipe de Asturias en Investigación Científica y Técnica

Fundación Príncipe de Asturias (España)


Premio de Biología de la Conservación 1994

Sociedad de Biología de la Conservación (USA)


Ancora Award in Science

La Nación (Costa Rica)


Peter Scott Award to conservation

Comisión de la Sobrevivencia de las Especies de UICN


Reconocimiento Honorable

Fundación Cultural Banesto (España)


Premio Internacional para el Ambiente San Francisco de Asís "Cántico de Todas las Criaturas"

Centro Franciscano de Estudios Ambientales (Italia)