Financing Environmental Services: The Costa Rican Experience and its Implications

This article provides a snapshot of a fascinating, rapidly evolving experiment in progress: markets for the environmental benefits of forests. Costa Rica is blazing a trail into a previously undisturbed jungle of policy issues. This paper describes the practical issues that Costa Rica has faced, the nuts and bolts mechanics of how it has approached those issues, and the challenges that remain, both for Costa Rica and for would-be emulators.