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Central America


Understanding the tradeoffs between planned marine conservation policies and artisanal fishing in key coastal areas of Costa Rica

The projects objective is to identify local capabilities, assets, and activities that characterizes the livelihoods of small scale fishers in Costa Rica. A special attention will be given on how different regulations (external and internal) defining who, where, when, what, and how to fish might affect these livelihoods and the natural resource base.


Performance based payments for protecting turtles: understanding the conditions for its success

In one of the major nesting beaches (La Flor), the Nicaraguan government has made an effort to enforce the prohibition to harvest by defining a protected area patrolled by governmental officers, and the army. However the effectiveness of this policy is questioned, particularly because of the difficulties to exclude people from turtle’s habitat, and the scarce governmental budgets dedicated to the enforcement of these regulations. 


Combining state of the art science with practitioners wisdom in the design of PES schemes: Lessons from the Costa Rican experience.

The Costa Rican PSA Program is widely cited in discussions about REDD+, including as a reference on the costs of implementing PES and the challenges of generating additionality and livelihood co-benefits (poverty reduction).  As such, it is critical to document and extract lessons from the variation in payment levels and targeting criteria employed by Costa Rica´s National Forestry Fund (F


Improving energy efficiency in Costa Rican households: the effect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary incentives in shaping the timing of consumption

Reducing a country´s dependence on fossil fuels is central to mitigate climate change and to promote the use of cheaper energy sources. In Costa Rica most energy is generated using hydro-electrical plants, however the fact that energy consumption is lumped in peak hours forces the use of fossil fuel (mostly diesel and bunker) based electricity generation.


Experiments to test a bargaining game for reducing pollution

The purpose of this project is to test a bargaining game developed by Saborio-Rodriguez, Kwasnica and Shortle (2013) using experiments in a laboratory. In the game an environmental agreement to deal with water pollution is negotiated among three players located along a river. Negotiation leads to social optimum reduction in emission accompanied by a set of monetary transfers.


Marine Protected Areas and Small-Scale Fishing Behavior: a Comparative Analysis between South Africa, Tanzania and Costa Rica

This thematic program examines marine resource conservation.  This multi-center collaborative project, the first within this thematic program, focuses on improving policy to promote coastal conservation through marine protected areas (MPAs) and related management tools.  Because signatories of the Convention on Biological Diversity have committed to establishing MPAs on 10 percent of their coastal waters, a widespread expansion of these areas is underway worldwide.


Evaluating Land Conservation Policies in Developing Countries

What would have been the deforestation rate within and around protected areas if these protected areas had not been established? This project will allow to determine the impact of land conservation policies on deforestation and, with expenditure figures, the costs of saving an additional hectare of forest.


Alternatives for Risk Elicitation in the Field

Although field experimental methods are the workhorse of researchers interested in risk preferences, practitioners find surveys easier to implement. This paper compares results from experimental versus survey-based methods to elicit farmers’ risk attitudes, in context-free and context-specific decision settings. We then explore how the different survey estimates of risk preferences relate to real-life farming choices in a population of coffee farmers in Costa Rica.


Magnitude and Distribution of Electricity and Water Subsidies for Households in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

In Addis Ababa, an increasing block tariff has been used to calculate households’ monthly bills for electricity and water services. This study estimates the magnitudes of the combined water and electricity subsidies received by households with private connections to the electricity grid and piped water network in 2016, and it evaluates the distribution of these subsidies among wealth groups.


The consequences of increasing block tariffs on the distribution of residential electricity subsidies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

This study evaluates the distribution of electricity subsidies to residential customers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2016 that results from the current increasing block tariff (IBT) structure. Customer billing data supplied by the electricity utility were matched with socioeconomic information collected from a survey of 987 households, and used with a utility-specific estimate of the costs of electricity service to estimate household-specific subsidies.


Adaptación basada en Ecosistemas: una opción para la adaptación de la agricultura al cambio climático en Centroamérica

En Centroamérica, el sector agrícola es indispensable para el desarrollo económico, el alivio de la pobreza y la preservación de la identidad cultural. Gran parte de la producción agrícola regional procede de pequeños productores. La agricultura de pequeña escala proporciona medios de vida a más de 2.4 millones de familias, representa cerca del 50% del PIB agrícola de los países centroamericanos, y provee aproximadamente el 70% de los alimentos consumidos en la región.


Instrumentos de política para control de la contaminación del agua y la emisión de GEI por fuentes difusas provenientes de la actividad agropecuaria

En los últimos años, Uruguay ha evidenciado las consecuencias de la contaminación difusa proveniente de la actividad agropecuaria, lo que ha sido abordado a través de programas voluntarios para promover prácticas productivas más limpias, la regulación generalizada del manejo y uso de suelo, y un plan de acción para la protección del agua en la cuenca del río Santa Lucía. Este trabajo busca identificar potenciales oportunidades de mejora de los instrumentos económicos existentes en Uruguay, que puedan promover el diálogo y acciones.


Gobernanza para la Adaptación basada en Ecosistemas (AbE) para pequeños caficultores de América Central

Introducción. Las prácticas agrícolas basadas en el buen manejo de los ecosistemas son promovidas como una buena estrategia de adaptación para las actividades productivas de pequeños caficultores en la región Centroamericana. La diseminación de la información sobre innovaciones, técnicas, instrumentos, etc. entre las organizaciones y productores es clave para expandir y consolidar el uso de estas prácticas. Objetivo.


Local Community Characteristics and Cooperation for Shared Green Reputation

This article examines how basic socioeconomic and political factors are associated with higher levels of cooperation to garner a local community's shared green reputation. We analyze panel data on participation efforts in a collective voluntary environmental program, the Ecological Blue Flag Program, by the entire population of beach communities in Costa Rica between 2001 and 2009.


The impact of protected area governance and management capacity on ecosystem function in Central America

Protected areas (PAs) are a prominent approach to maintaining and enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services. A critical question for safeguarding these resources is how PA governance processes and management structures influence their effectiveness. We conduct an impact evaluation of 12 PAs in three Central American countries to assess how processes in management restrictions, management capacity, and decentralization affect the annual change in the satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).


Contributing to the construction of a framework for improved gender integration into climate-smart agriculture projects monitoring and evaluation: MAP-Norway experience

The Mesoamerican Agroenvironmental Program (MAP-Norway) is a multi-dimensional rural development program implemented in Central America since 2009, working with smallholder families, producer organizations, governmental organizations, and regional governance platforms. To monitor, assess, and evaluate the effects of the program on its beneficiaries, MAP-Norway uses a series of indicators that allow project managers and donors to adapt and follow-up on the interventions.