Project Report:
Emergency Funds to Conserve the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, Costa Rica
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.


The Children’s Eternal Rainforest is a 22,600-hectare reserve that plays a critical role in conserving Costa Rica’s biodiversity. It provides water for communities and hydroelectricity and is the center of a block of protected areas that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region annually. Important income for protecting the CER comes from visitation by ecotourists and students. A $51,500 grant from the Walker Foundation in 1993 helped fund the construction of the San Gerardo Field Station with the goal of generating ecotourism revenue; the site has provided income for forest protection and maintenance ever since. However, the economic crisis caused by the COVID19 pandemic has triggered a sudden, complete lack of tourist-derived income, putting the very existence of the CER at risk. Here we request $50,000 in emergency funding to ensure the survival of the CER until our market-based revenue sources stabilize and new sources of income can be developed.


The Children's Eternal Rainforest is an essential component of what creates a market-based economy centered on ecotourism and academic groups. Reciprocally, part of that economic activity helps to make the CER sustainable (in normal, non-pandemic times), and in turn, as a direct result, protect one the world's biodiversity hotspots, provide water for hundreds of communities and farms downstream, as well as for about a half dozen hydroelectricity projects that produce roughly a third to half Costa Rica's electricity, depending on the season. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted local, national, and international economies, significant reducing income from ecotourism in Costa Rica, while also reducing government support for conservation activities.


We seek to secure partial funding ($50,000 of an estimated $638,666) to maintain essential operations of the Monteverde Conservation League, the organization that owns and protects the Children's Eternal Rainforest, from July 2020 to December 2021. This will help to compensate for economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. MCL has already reduced operations to a minimum, cutting 20% of staff positions and reducing working hours of remaining staff by 50%. These cutbacks come at a time when we can least afford them, since increased unemployment in the communities that border the CER has caused an increase in illegal activities within the reserve. Essential operations (described in greater detail below in Purpose of Grant) include guard patrols; maintenance of property boundaries; trails and infrastructure; environmental education and community outreach; basic administrative positions; and equipment associated with essential tasks.

Amount Approved
$25,000.00 on 10/16/2020 (Check sent: 10/29/2020)

Frente a la Gasolinera Monteverde
Santa Elena de Monteverde, Puntarenas, CR 60109
Santa Elena, XX 60109

(506) 26455200


Ms. Lindsay Stallcup
Executive Director, Monteverde Conservation League

Posted 9/21/2020 3:21 PM
Updated   10/29/2020 5:16 PM

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