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costa rica
Latin America and the Caribbean

Costa Rica

Facts and Figures

Country Area
51,100 km2
Forested Area (1000 ha)
Partner country
Support type
Targeted support
Support to country needs assessment (CNA)
Progress against the Warsaw Framework

National REDD+ Strategy/Action Plan (NS/AP): UN-REDD Programme support has been provided to the Government to successfully finalize the National REDD+ Strategy and develop a comprehensive REDD+ Implementation Plan. Understanding of the benefits of REDD+ was integral to this work. The Programme supported an extensive analysis on multiple benefits of the National REDD+ Strategy actions and a policy brief on the multiple benefits of REDD+, cost-benefit analyses of REDD+ strategic options for the implementation plan and the development of indicators to evaluate the multiple REDD+ benefits in Costa Rica. In addition, a review of the private sector and financing options for REDD+ and the development of a substrategy for gender mainstreaming, were carried out to assist in creating enabling conditions for policies and measures.

Forest Reference Emission Level / Forest Reference Level (FREL/FRL): The current Forest Reference Emissions Level/Forest Reference Level (FREL/FRL) is being updated based on recommendations by the UNFCCC Technical Assessment Report and the FCPF. Support was provided by the UN-REDD Programme through participation in the discussion of a new methodology to measure forest degradation and integrate this into the FREL/REL.

National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS): The UN-REDD Programme continued to support the development of the National Land Use, Land Cover and Ecosystems Monitoring System (SIMOCUTE) with the establishment of four task forces to design the technical elements of the system. The task forces have successfully brought together cross-sectoral stakeholders from 12 organizations, including the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and various academic institutions. During 2017, task forces carried out technical activities including NFI modifications, harmonization of the classification systems for coverage and land use; and, pilots on sampling with remote sensing to estimate land use changes and forest degradation. Support was also provided to finalize a review of legislation, which became the basis for the decree establishing SIMOCUTE. The Monitoring Land Use Change Within Productive Landscapes (MOCUPP) became operational during 2017 thanks to the support from the Programme and will progressively monitor five commodities until 2020. A task force was established to facilitate its inclusion into the SIMOCUTE.

Safeguard Information System (SIS): Significant progress was made to develop the summary of safeguards information for the UNFCCC with support from the UN-REDD Programme. Programme assistance included a webinar on best practices to operationalize and integrate the SIS in Costa Rica’s National REDD+ Strategy.

REDD+ Implementation

Following completion of the National REDD+ Strategy and implementation plan, Costa Rica costed all the REDD+ policies and measures. The Government then identified financing sources for the implementation of the National REDD+ Strategy, in addition to those already provided by the FCPF Carbon Fund, to develop a REDD+ financial plan. The country was also able to engage the Development Banking System to develop tailored financial products that contribute to REDD+ implementation.

Challenges and solutions

The main challenge is the length of time taken to institutionalize the SIMOCUTE across Costa Rica. In order to tackle this, the process should be started as soon as possible and mobilize other sources from the cooperation.

Gender and social inclusion

A substrategy for gender mainstreaming, as part of the enabling conditions for policies and measures, was recommended and integrated to the National REDD+ Strategy and implementation plan.


The NFMS/SIMOCUTE has been supported by a joint collaboration with the United States Forest Service (USFS)-Silva Carbon. Funds from the Inter American Bank for Development/ Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Centre  (BID/CATIE), Silva Carbon and FCPF were coordinated to adjust and conclude SIMOCUTE's methodologies after the pilots.

Focal points