Participatory governance as a basis for forest fire management in restored forests in the Chorotega region of Costa Rica

Interested in watching this video? You have two options:

This video is part of the SER Conference Library. If you want to learn more about this resource please see this guide.

Buy a pass

You can purchase a pass for this video on our website.

Already purchased access to this video, or want to redeem credit for a new order? Just enter your order number or email below:

SER Member?
Sign in below to get unrestricted access:

Roger Villalobos, Claudia Medellín, Luis Diego Román, Fernando Carrera

Publication Date:

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.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program