The Savegre River Watershed is perhaps the most biologically diverse place in all of Central America - and one of the most important in terms of climate change adaptation. It spans 0-10,000'+ above sea-level, its forests are intact, and healthy populations of key species (eg, jaguar and tapir) remain. Traditionally, local people have been its guardians, but threats loom. This project works to empower local communities to regain control of the Savegre and ensure its long-term conservation.
The Savegre represents the only remaining intact stretch of habitat that connects the Central American Mountain Range to the Pacific Ocean. Yet the communities that have traditionally cared for the Savegre and this wild place they call home are greatly threatened by huge infrastructure projects and diminishing sustainable economic opportunities. This has marginalized local people to the point that unchecked resource exploitation is accelerating, decreasing options for long-term conservation.
This project is designed to ensure the sustainable conservation of the Savegre by empowering local communities to take greater and more formal control over the management of their natural resources. The project aims to work with local communities to raise awareness on the most pressing issues, organize local management councils, explore community-based sustainable development alternatives, and convert the Watershed to the first "carbon-neutral" area in all of Costa Rica.
Organizing local communities to take greater control of the management of the Savegre will result in greater environmental and economic security over the long-term. This security will lead to more stable or growing populations of existing wildlife and forest cover. Conserving the Savegre, its species, habitats, and the environmental services it provides (eg, clean water and carbon sequestration) will, in turn, bring more sustainable economic opportunities to local communities.