UNFCCC Reference No.: 7572
COOPEAGRI is a cooperative of farmers in the Brunca Region of Costa Rica dedicated to agriculture activities, such as coffee, sugarcane, and raising cattle. Of particular relevance to the livelihoods of the farmers is the past destruction of forest cover area and severe overgrazing which has degraded the pasture land and transformed the vegetative cover into a resistant and weedy species.
The Carbon Sequestration in Small and Medium Farms in the Brunca Region Project works with farmers associated with COOPEAGRI to introduce forestry activities on their privately owned farms. Located in the Perez Zeledon County, the project region covers a total of almost 900 hectares hectares of rolling hills covered with pastures, coffee, sugarcane, and small forest patches. The three project activities in the region include agroforestry systems, assisted natural regeneration, and forest plantations. The project is implemented by Fondo Nacional de Financiamiento Forestal (FONAFIFO).
The project is generating important environmental services. Carbon is sequestered through increased biomass both above and below ground and prevention of soil disturbances. The project is also promoting biodiversity conservation through the restoration of deforested lands, helping to diversify the landscape, connect forest patches, and create habitats for small mammals and birds. Furthermore, land degradation is prevented through an improved hydrological regimen (water filtration, quality and flows) and decreased soil erosion which helps with long-term prevention of landslides.
The project provides local employment opportunities for men and women, in activities such as site restoration, planting, harvesting, and nursery management. The promotion of diverse land uses in the project area helps farmers maintain good levels of income and food security. Moreover, participating farmers are seeing increased incomes from payment for environmental services.