Biodiversity is a resource that has enormous potential, whether for intellectual, economic or as an instrument for the development of a country.
The tropical zones of the American continent (neotropic), where Costa Rica is located, are home to a greater diversity of species and ecosystems and a wider range of interactions, in comparison with the other tropical regions of the world.
With only 51,100 km2 of land surface (0.03% of the world) and 589,000 km2 of territorial sea, Costa Rica is considered one of the 20 countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world. Its geographical position, its two coasts and its mountainous system, which provides numerous and varied microclimates, are some of the reasons that explain this natural wealth, both in species and in ecosystems. The more than 500,000 species that are supposed to be found in this small territory represent about 4% of the total estimated species worldwide. Of these 500,000, just over 300,000 are insects.
The country possesses little more than 25% of its category under category, which increases thanks to the support of the private initiative, when creating private reserves dedicated especially to ecotourism and research. This is a conservation effort that few countries in the world have made and in which Costa Rica has invested great resources for the welfare of present and future generations.
In the last 5 years, special emphasis has been given to developing studies that include methodologies for valuing the benefits provided by protected areas and the resource they protect; ecological tourism, fishing, medicinal flora, bioprospecting and the payment of environmental services are some examples of topics that have been analyzed in these terms. Parallel to this economic valuation that is under development in Costa Rica and in the world, public and private institutions and organizations develop education and public awareness programs, in order to contribute to a change of attitude toward nature in society.