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EfD Central America

EfD-Central America

Since 2007, EfD-Central America (EfD-CA) has focused its research on the socioeconomic analysis of conservation policies, the socioeconomic dimensions of climate change, and management and valuation of environmental goods and services. However, more recently, EfD-CA has been developing a broader agenda, including topics such as marine issues, renewable energy and transportation, among others. 

It is fundamental for EfD-CA to carry out its research work in close collaboration with governmental and cooperation agencies, providing advice and critical analysis of policies and programs. 

This has been relevant to earn the trust and support of national, bilateral, and multilateral institutions; NGOs; research and educational partners; and governmental institutions. 

EfD-CA develops its research on:

  • Climate change
  • Water, land, ecosystems, and biodiversity
  • Pollution and transportation
  • Agriculture
  • Renewable energy
  • Coastal areas

With a firmly committed team of researchers from different countries, EfD-CA has four senior research fellows, four junior research fellows, 13 international associates and one research fellow, who specialize in various fields, such as impact evaluation, environmental economic assessment, common-pool resources, and behavioral economics, among others. 

At the same time, there are four support team members that help to administrate the Center and communicate properly to the key target audiences in the region. 

As a Center, our vision is to foster human wellbeing and sustainable development based on the efficient management of natural resources and the environment. Likewise, our mission focused on contributing to the design and assessment of public policies and local institutional arrangements that affect environment protection, sustainable natural resources management and poverty alleviation. 

This EfD-CA Center stands out for its dynamic research team, successful in terms of publications, teaching, and research funding, with strong international recognition.  

As well, the Center puts emphasis to support poverty alleviation and sustainable development through increased use of environmental economics capacity in policymaking processes. By strengthening the understanding of the causes and consequences of human decisions ,EfD-CA provides key inputs for policymaking and increasing the interaction between academia and policymakers in Central America.  

Host institution of EfD-CA

EfD-CA is hosted by  the Division of Research for Inclusive Green Development of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE, by its Spanish acronym), located in Turrialba, Costa Rica.

In August 2020, EfD-CA was recognized as an independent research Unit at CATIE, under the name in Spanish, Unidad Ambiente para el Desarrollo (EfD-CA). 

Our Unit is comprised by a multidisciplinary team that works with social actors with the objetive of: 

  • Facilitating the use of innovative mechanisms to generate and promote sustainable development
  • Developing tools for conducting analysis of social-economic-environmental issues 
  • Supporting the optimal design and evaluation of public/private policies

CATIE is the leading regional research and higher education institution in the fields of agriculture, agroforestry and natural resource management. Its mission is “to contribute to rural poverty reduction by promoting competitive and sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, through higher education, research and technical cooperation”. CATIE’s unique strength comes from an integrated approach that combines multiple disciplines (from economics to biotechnology) and various strategies that include research, higher education, training and technical assistance.

Main achievements of EfD-CA

Among the main achievements of EfD-CA Center are the contribution to rigorous policy-relevant research. To provide an example, the team of researchers has published a total of 14 papers in internationally peer-reviewed journals in the last 12 years, in addition to reports, book chapters, and policy briefs, among other scientific products. 

Sharing knowledge has been other achievement that has contributed to increase knowledge creation, encourage innovation and developing new publications and proposals. 

The center has maintained a proactive engagement with the target audiences and partners through an effective communication approach. This while facilitating evidence-based advice analysis on policy options and practices. 

As mentioned previously, one main achievement has been the inclusion of policy makers from very early stages of the research projects, in order to listen to their demands and openly discuss what can be achieved, given our capacities, budget, and time constraints.  


Contact information

CATIE Headquarters 7170, Turrialba 30501,
Costa Rica
+506 2558 2174