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Conservation Strategies, Protected Areas, and Ecotourism in Costa Rica

Ricardo Valverde Sanchez


Over the past two decades, ecotourism in Costa Rica has played a meaningful role in the country’s economy, mainly in low-income, rural communities. The country’s environmental sustainability is discussed in this study. Both pros and cons of ecotourism are outlined based on the experience of three communities settled in the Caribbean region. Institutional environmental policies, private sectors’ endeavors, and the participation of the research centers complement the country’s framework to position Costa Rica as a leading ecotourism destination. Nevertheless, a greater official commitment is required to meet the very essence of the concept of ecotourism.

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Ecotourism; conservation strategies; national parks; protected areas management; sustainability

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