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Roger Villalobos, Claudia Medellín, Luis Diego Román, Fernando Carrera
During 1950 -1970 Costa Rica suffered intense deforestation due to agricultural activity. The Chorotega region, located in the northwest of the country, practically became a “great pasture”. As of the 1980s, a tree recovery began, both due to the decrease in meat prices and emigration, as well as reforestation and restoration initiatives. Since then, some sectors have gone from less than 25% to more than 54% of forest cover, in dry and humid areas. However, the greatest current challenge for restoration is fires, caused by higher temperatures and dry periods, typical of climate change, as well as some agricultural and cultural practices that use fire. In this study, the participation of social actors and local governance structures that support the National System of Conservation Areas in the control of forest fires was analyzed. It was found that the National Forest Fire Commission has strengthened inter-institutional coordination processes, with achievements especially in the area of education and awareness; while at the local level the forest fire brigades represent the most important social articulation space. These brigades are made up of volunteers in synergy with SINAC and some of them have been active since 2005. In 2018 alone, approximately 350 volunteers supported fire management in the region, of which about 20% were women. The consolidation of governance through which coordination and cooperation agreements between civilian (grassroots organizations and companies) and institutional actors is achieved is essential, given the scarcity of resources and the magnitude of the problem.
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program