Project Report:
Maximizing ecosystem services and biodiversity protection for future land acquisitions of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (Bosque Eterno de los Niños, “BEN”)
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.


This project will use Geographical Information System (GIS) techniques to analyze future land purchases for the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (BEN) that maximize environmental and societal benefits. Currently, BEN and other protected areas in the Tilarán Mountains exist as islands of habitat, resulting in fragmentation that threatens the long-term survival of many species. The project will identify the lands surrounding BEN with the highest conservation and ecosystem services provisioning values. We anticipate this will include forested land; land with disproportionately high species diversity; poorly protected life zones; and areas with steep slopes that erode easily. Once these areas have been identified, we will develop a long-term protection plan with the combined goals of maximizing biodiversity protection, physically connecting BEN to other protected areas, increasing ecosystem services locally and globally, and increasing the sustainability of the ecotourism market.


The BEN creates a market-based economy centered on ecotourism and education by attracting numerous tourists and student groups. The BEN is the centerpiece of a protected area connecting Monteverde and La Fortuna, locations that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Tourism has important direct and indirect economic effects on communities and is a great example of how biodiversity protection improves people's lives. With almost every family in some way associated with the ecotourism economy (some indirect, but many direct), support for conservation is strong. Since the BEN also protects soil, regulates water supply, and improves air quality, the ecosystem services extend well beyond its physical boundaries, providing benefits to hydroelectric generation, agriculture, and general quality of life. Improving biodiversity protection and ecosystem services for the future will help ensure a strong conservation-based economy and continue to improve the communities of the region.


This project will identify areas with high conservation and ecosystem services values that surround the protected lands in the Monteverde-Arenal region of Costa Rica, a biodiversity hotspot and a world-renowned ecotourism destination. Protected lands here currently exist as an island of high quality habitat. This isolation threatens long-term survival of species and may damage the economically important ecotourism sector. These lands are also critical to Costa Rica’s electricity generation system, water supply, and agriculture production. Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) analysis, we will identify the best lands for future protection that maximize biodiversity protection, ecosystem services, and benefits to the ecotourism economy. Once this analysis is completed, we will approach conservation organizations, donors, and interested parties to implement an effective long-term land use plan. This analysis could be a model for other ecologically important regions of the world.

Amount Approved
$20,000.00 on 11/10/2022

Paper Biological Corridors Costa Rica (PDF)

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 10/28/2022 2:24 PM
Updated   11/26/2022 7:49 PM

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