SCALA Costa Rica


Costa Rica is in Central America and has a varied topography that includes coastal plains separated by rugged mountains, including over 100 volcanic cones and inhabits around 5 percent of the planet’s biodiversity. Costa Rica is among global leaders in responding to climate change, with a long history of environmental protection, sustainable development, and action on climate change mitigation. Costa Rica’s vulnerability to extreme climate events and natural hazards is a result of the presence of populations in areas prone to volcanic eruptions and unstable lands, degraded by wide-spread cattle ranching, or in poorly planned settlements prone to landslides and flooding. A total of 36 percent of Costa Rica’s land use is attributed to agriculture, and it accounts for 14 percent of the country’s employment. 


Project Details

The SCALA programme can contribute to strengthening market access for products developed through low-carbon value chains to help increase the capital flow to communities (at the farm level) that adopt technologies and help contribute to scaling up climate action. The SCALA programme will support Costa Rica in transforming how the agriculture and land use sectors operate and incorporating adaptation and mitigation measures. In addition to the support on soil management practices, SCALA in Cosa Rica will support the resilience of family farmers to cope with pathogens, so they have the resources to invest in sustainable low-carbon practices. The country is currently developing a road map for its National Adaptation Plan and aims to strengthen conservation initiatives and expand its environmental services payments program to include ecosystem-based adaptation. Costa Rica continues to promote renewable energies, stronger environmental management practices through agroforestry systems and watershed management, as well as tools for municipal-level land use planning to reduce the long-term vulnerabilities of its population and enhance its food security.

Level of Intervention: 
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Project Status: 
Under Implementation


Costa Rica prioritizes transformative climate practices in its agri-food chains

22 October 2021 - To learn more about how Costa Rica is scaling up its climate ambition in land use and agriculture to meet the targets of its NDC and related climate strategies, the SCALA programme sat down with the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Renato Alvarado to unpack the opportunities and challenges in this process as part of a new interview series.


Reports and Publications