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Valuation of tropical forest services and mechanisms to finance their conservation and sustainable use: A case study of Tapantí National Park, Costa Rica


  • Bernard, Florence
  • de Groot, Rudolf S.
  • Campos, José Joaquín


The Tapanti National Park in Costa Rica comprises a precious but vulnerable tropical rain forest area. The monetary values of ecosystem services that are provided by this park are estimated in order to assess the mechanisms to finance the park's conservation and sustainable use. The main ecosystem services provided by the park are water supply (for drinking and electricity generation), maintenance of biodiversity and opportunities for recreation and tourism. Based on interviews with over 300 stakeholders, the study identified the main beneficiaries of these ecosystem services. The monetary benefits of the three services combined were estimated at approx. US$2.5Â million/year, equivalent to an average of US$43/year for the total park area (58.323Â ha). Compared to other, similar areas, the recreation values are relatively low (approx. 0.6Â million US$/year) while the water-supply service is very high: approx. 1.7Â million US$/year for hydro-electricity and approx. 0.2Â million US$/year for drinking water. Both the low recreation and high water supply values can be correlated with the high rainfall of over 6500Â mm/year. To develop payment-mechanisms for the conservation and sustainable use of Tapantí National Park, the main stakeholders were asked about their willingness to pay for the maintenance of the services they benefited from. Different financing mechanisms have been explored, such as taxes, user fees, individual and corporate donations, friends' schemes, and voluntary contractual arrangements. In general, most of the stakeholders were willing to pay for the ecosystem services they received. These potential payments amounted to at least 400,000Â US$/year, which excludes the hydro-electricity beneficiary. Even without payments from the hydro-electricity company, this amount suffices to cover the current (245,000Â US$) and urgently needed additional budget (100,000Â US$) for the National Park management.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernard, Florence & de Groot, Rudolf S. & Campos, José Joaquín, 2009. "Valuation of tropical forest services and mechanisms to finance their conservation and sustainable use: A case study of Tapantí National Park, Costa Rica," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 174-183, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:11:y:2009:i:3:p:174-183

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Costanza, Robert, 1998. "The value of ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 1-2, April.
    2. Farber, Stephen C. & Costanza, Robert & Wilson, Matthew A., 2002. "Economic and ecological concepts for valuing ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 375-392, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecoser:v:9:y:2014:i:c:p:180-190 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Halkos, George E. & Jones, Nikoleta, 2012. "Modeling the effect of social factors on improving biodiversity protection," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 90-99.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:170-:d:126529 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Ninan, K.N. & Inoue, Makoto, 2013. "Valuing forest ecosystem services: What we know and what we don't," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 137-149.
    5. Ojea, Elena & Martin-Ortega, Julia, 2015. "Understanding the economic value of water ecosystem services from tropical forests: A systematic review for South and Central America," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 97-106.
    6. repec:eee:forpol:v:80:y:2017:i:c:p:11-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:ecoser:v:26:y:2017:i:pa:p:70-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. López-Mosquera, Natalia & Sánchez, Mercedes, 2013. "Income effects on visitors' decision structure in a suburban natural area," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 102-110.
    9. Fotakis, Dimitris G. & Sidiropoulos, Epameinondas & Myronidis, Dimitriοs & Ioannou, Kostas, 2012. "Spatial genetic algorithm for multi-objective forest planning," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 12-19.
    10. Arabatzis, Garyfallos & Grigoroudis, Evangelos, 2010. "Visitors' satisfaction, perceptions and gap analysis: The case of Dadia-Lefkimi-Souflion National Park," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 163-172, March.
    11. Ojea, Elena & Loureiro, Maria L. & Alló, Maria & Barrio, Melina, 2016. "Ecosystem Services and REDD: Estimating the Benefits of Non-Carbon Services in Worldwide Forests," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 246-261.
    12. repec:eee:ecoser:v:9:y:2014:i:c:p:170-179 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Voltaire, Louinord, 2017. "Pricing Future Nature Reserves Through Contingent Valuation Data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 66-75.


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