The Children’s Eternal Rainforest (CER) is a community managed forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. It covers 23,000 hectares of wet forest in one of the most biodiverse regions of the planet. Funds for its management come primarily from the Costa Rican government and two hydroelectric power plants as Payment for Environmental Services. These sources of funding have been insecure over the past years and will likely remain so in the future.
In this context, the Capstone team assessed current funding sources, identified opportunities to strengthen them and made recommendations for how to best address new opportunities. The Capstone team’s recommendations focused on four areas: donations, private partnerships, visitors, and carbon markets. To increase donations, they recommended recapturing lapsed-donors and targeting people and organizations that have a common history with the MCL and CER, like the Swedish school children who fundraised for the CER, the international Quaker community, sister organizations around the world, and forest visitors. Attracting income from private partnerships is possible by reconnecting with organizations the MCL has already worked with, or with organizations whose businesses are linked to Costa Rica and/or forest conservation.
In tourism, the Capstone team recommended improving the visitor experience, improving access and marketing efforts, and reopening trails. The team found the forest carbon markets as the most intangible opportunity as it requires an important initial investment. Finally, the team recommended monitoring the guidelines for implementation of the Paris Agreement that define conditions for collaboration in international markets, the country implementation of REDD+ and CORSIA.