Back in 2009, EfD Central America researchers Francisco Alpizar, Maria Angelica Naranjo and Alberto Vargas worked with The Nature Conservancy in Costa Rica estimating a cost base structure for the allocation of service concessions and non-essential activities within the protected wilderness areas. The findings are now implemented in Chirripó National Park in Costa Rica.
The objective of the consultancy was to create a price-based structure to determine the costs of maintaining and managing the sale of goods and services associated with the attention of Chirripo National Park visitors. This would substantially increase the quality of services provided to tourists and relieve the park officials to engage in duties of their occupation (control, protection and environmental education), and provide open spaces to involve organized local groups as stated by the Costa Rican Law of Biodiversity.
Since 2009 park authorities and the local communities at Chirripo National Park, showed interest in the need for the concession of non-essential services offered by the park. This year, since July, the consortium Aguas Eternas, began to manage services in Crestones hostel, located in the park, for more information see La Nación Spanish newspaper article.
Aguas Eternas won the concession to manage the accommodation, food, car hauling equipment and supplies for visitors of the Chirripo National Park.
This consortium is conformed by three community-based organizations, and it is the first time a community assumes a state contract for environmental conservation and community outreach, providing that the economic benefits remain in the area.
For more information on the results of the study please see the following policy brief: Concessions in wild protected areas: cost estimates for non-essential services in Chirripó National Park, Costa Rica.