National Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity

    i. Foreword.

This document is the result of a process in which nearly 1000 Costa Ricans contributed their experience and their vision of what conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity means, together with the just and equitable distribution of costs and benefits that it implies.

For many years, the issue of conservation has occupied a preponderant place on both the public and the private national agenda, earning Costa Rica international acclaim. This achievement and responsibility now requires us to adopt a more integrated approach to work, one in which the quality of life of all Costa Ricans should be the central element.

The national initiative to establish protected wildlife areas, to acquire knowledge of the existing biodiversity and its characteristics and to promote the development of new ways of using that biodiversity, requires the conjugation of the efforts and interests of all social sectors. We must have knowledge of the resources provided by our biodiversity, and complement protection efforts with actions to generate goods and services. But above all, we must strengthen national awareness of the value of biodiversity to human beings.

In this document we present the results of a joint effort, in which the government and people of Costa Rica declare their intention to integrate biodiversity conservation into the country’s social and economic development, as a strategic element to achieve sustainable human development.

Elizabeth Odio Benito
Second Vice-President of the Republic and
Minister of the Environment and Energy