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Costa Rica

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working in Costa Rica since the early 1960s. Currently 59 national and 16 international employees and 4 integrated specialists are working in the country (as of 31.12.2018).

Costa Rica has made positive development progress in recent years. Stable macroeconomic growth has brought about a general improvement in living conditions, although social inequality remains widespread. Costa Rica is a leader in nature conservation and is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2021. Its policies are therefore sustainable and focused on the long term. Reducing emissions and mitigating climate change are priorities.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) currently adopts a regional approach to cooperation with Costa Rica, whereas the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) focuses primarily on bilateral programmes with the country. GIZ’s portfolio also includes development partnerships with the private sector. Supporting triangular cooperation is a further focus of its engagement.

The main issues addressed by GIZ in Costa Rica are:

  • resource conservation and climate change
  • adaptation to climate change
  • economic development and employment
  • human rights
  • renewable energies and energy efficiency.

Protecting biodiversity enhances the resilience of ecosystems and improves their adaptive capacity. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and within the scope of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), GIZ is supporting the implementation of the National Biocorridor Programme (PNCB) within the context of Costa Rica’s National Biodiversity Strategy. This includes building key stakeholders’ management capacities and setting up appropriate and sustainable funding mechanisms. GIZ also advises Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment on the strategic implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and supports the NAMA Café – the world’s first Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) in the agricultural sector.

Programmes commissioned by the BMZ focus primarily on economic development. Here, GIZ advises the private sector and public institutions on improving their training capacities in order to build business and vocational skills; young people are a key target group in this context. In parallel, it promotes private sector initiatives which aim to mainstream climate action and the conservation of biodiversity in production systems and improve energy efficiency. This stimulates new business activity and thus creates jobs.

The provision of advisory services to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights is improving access to justice in selected countries in the region.

Projects and Programmes

Project evaluations

GIZ-Magazin akzente

Biogas in Costa Rica – Electricity from the pig farm

GIZ-Magazin akzente

Climate change in Costa Rica – Protecting the coastal forest

Faces and Stories

Costa Rica: Héctor Alvarado Cantillo, arbitrator

The cesspit at the pig breeding farm Porcina Americana in Costa Rica polluted the air in the surrounding communities and contaminated the nearby river water.

Our References

Climate-friendly coffee from Costa Rica