In a nutshell
The Reventazón Model Forest Alliance (ABOMORE) is a social collaboration and integration space for all stakeholders involved in natural resource management and conservation in the Cartago province of Costa Rica. Its stakeholders work together to consolidate sustainable development and participatory governance.
The ABOMORE area is a complex territory where the most fertile agricultural areas in the country coexist alongside 16 protected wildlife areas, among them seven national parks and part of La Amistad and the Central Volcanic Mountain Range Biosphere Reserves. In addition to being important for water resource management (hydroelectric power production and supplying water for human consumption), the area is crossed from North to South by two biological corridors and, on the Eastern side, has three indigenous people’s territories. One of the main urban centers of the country, part of the Greater Metropolitan Area, is located in it as well.
The main challenges faced by the ABOMORE area are negative impacts related to inadequate agricultural production practices, inadequate soil use or overuse, loss of forest cover, and a strong urban expansion pressure. These impacts unleash erosion, sedimentation and natural resource contamination processes that risk the provision of ecosystem services relevant to population health and wellbeing.
The ABOMORE landscape is characterized by a diversity of natural ecosystems, originated from a variety of climates and altitudes, ranging from 600 to 3400 masl with an irregular topography. The area includes some of the better conserved forests in the country, covering over 50% of the landscape, comprised mostly by primary and secondary forests in varying successional stages.
The region’s economy is based mainly on industrial and agricultural activities, with crops planted according to altitude. Coffee, sugarcane, and tropical fruits are grown up to 1500 masl and on higher ground maize, potatoes, and vegetables. The region offers pastures in abundance to feed a cattle and horse farming industry. The territory generates approximately 80% of national vegetable production; in addition, it houses the main Costa Rican cheese production area. Tourism is an important economic activity in the area, as well, geared mainly towards nature and adventure tourism.
The province has a rich historical and cultural heritage, which increases its potential to attract tourists: the Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles basilica, the ruins of Santiago Apostol, and several churches, among other places. Cartago has more than 50 archeological sites, among which the Guayabo National Monument, unique in its category, is foremost. The Cabecar indigenous people are one of the most culturally diverse group in the country. They inhabit three reserves partially located within the ABOMORE, covering 75,000 hectares and populated by 6,000 members, distributed among 27 communities.
The Directorate steers coordination, makes decisions, defines policy strategies, and follows up on them through the Steering Committee. It is comprised by the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), the Ribereño Interurbano Subcuenca Reventado Aguacaliente biological corridor (COBRI SURAC) and the Volcánica Central-Talamanca biological corridor (CBVCT), the Cerros de la Carpintera protection area local council (COLAC), the Cerros de la Carpintera protection area (ZPCC), and the Tapantí Macizo de la Muerte National Park (PNT/MM), Turrialba/Jiménez Forest Council, the coalition of Integral Development Associations (ADI) of Cartago (central sector), Hacienda RETES, Turi-arva, Nakepu Tourism and Photography, and FUNDABOSQUE.
The Steering Committee is in charge of planning and process operation, progress control and monitoring, as well as lending support to the working groups. It is currently integrated by MINAE/SINAC (National Protected Areas System), the Cartago and Turrialba Central Conservation Area office, representatives from other organizations involved with biological corridors, and working groups such as ASOAMBIENTE, Hacienda Retes, Turi-arva, and Nakepu Tourism and Photography.
The working groups are organizations or local networks that group and represent movements related to ABOMORE’s goals. Their tasks and objectives follow the dynamics and identity of each group. To date, we have worked with several local and community organizations and networks, especially with biological corridor local committees, protected areas local councils, and the Turrialba-Jiménez forest council.
The Friends of the Model Forest Foundation (FUNDABOSQUE), an NGO working as ABOMORE’s financial arm.
- To consolidate a regional sustainable development model that facilitates an integrated management of natural resources and the use of ecosystem services;
- To strengthen participatory governance;
- To emphasize sustainable management of the territory and its forest resources, based on the six principles shared by all Model Forests in the world.
Key actions in place to reach these goals:
- To support sustainable development initiatives by promoting rural tourism (eco and agritourism), geared towards tourism entrepreneurs and organized groups such as guide associations in the northern ABOMORE area. It is also aimed at landowners located in protected areas with mixed land ownership, especially in the Cerros de la Carpintera, the Navarro and Sombrero rivers, and the river Tuis basin.
Governance and institutionality
- To consolidate the ABOMORE platform through FUNDABOSQUE; to continue strengthening biological corridor local committees and protected area councils by incorporating new sectors and concretizing external financial resource management.
Knowledge exchange, capacity building and networks
- To collaborate with other Model Forests and our partners, exchanging knowledge and experiences.
- Identifying financial promoters of sustainable development projects within the ABOMORE territory. A Costa Rican bank (Banco Popular) emerged as in interesting ally, simplifying access to preferential rate credits designed to finance sustainable development projects. We visited landowners with projects located inside the Cerro Carpintera protection area in coordination with bank representatives.
- An inventory of plantations registered before the National Forest Financing Fund (FONAFIFO) between 2006 – 2016 in Turrialba and Jiménez, initiated by the Turrialba-Jiménez Local Forest Council (COLFOREST). A field trip to share experiences with the Caribbean Industry and Reforestation Association (ASIREA) also took place, where issues surrounding plant nurseries, plantations and harvesting were explored focusing on Gmelina arborea.
- Creation of the Turrialba-Caribe Forestry Opportunities Development Association, constituted by forest producers such as the Juan Viñas, Aquiares and Azul haciendas, ASOAMBIENTE, and other forestry professionals.
In addition, legal issues that were delaying FUNDABOSQUE work were resolved, Executive Power and local government representatives were named, and bank accounts were set up.
ABOMORE partners maintain a dynamic of interaction and knowledge exchange, whether at biological corridor local committees or protected areas or forest local councils, supporting municipal environmental management, or working with youth groups (Turi-Arva, AVELMOLINO), as well as in processes taking place within protected areas in and outside their region. The ABOMORE website was created to strengthen these exchanges (www.abomore.org). In it, there is information about our initiatives and Model Forests as a concept. Every partner has a subpage to promote their work and enable user access to them.
Learn more about Reventazón Model Forest :
Report: Gobernanza_y_gestión_local_del_agua_para_uso_doméstico_en_Costa_Rica: el caso de las Asociaciones administradoras de los sistemas de acueductos y alcantarillados comunales en el área de incidencia del Bosque Modelo Reventazón. Informes de actividades (in Spanish)