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The project aims to improve climate change mitigation and adaptation in coastal wetland areas in Costa Rica and Benin, by restoring mangroves and promoting their sustainable development. It focuses on transferring the technologies and skills developed in Mexico to Costa Rica and Benin, with the aim of restoring pilot mangrove sites, subsequently leading to a large-scale replicability.
The cooperation process seeks to strengthen the implementation of Costa Rica’s “Social Blue Carbon” public policies.


Mangroves are essential ecosystems for the survival of certain species, as they are a habitat for many endangered plant and animal species. These environments are critical to food security and the fight against climate change. 
Costa Rica and Benin are two of the tropical countries with large expanses of coastal wetland areas, including mangroves. 
In the context of climate change and the constant increase in anthropogenic pressure, the sustainability of the services rendered by these coastal ecosystems cannot be taken for granted. Coastal wetlands, and mangroves in particular, remain fragile ecosystems. 

There was a loss of 35% of mangroves in Costa Rica between 1980 and 2005 (FAO, 2005) and a quarter of their surface area disappeared in Benin between 1980 and 2006. 


The project is based on five components

  • Implementation of a pilot restoration, covering 58 hectares on 3 mangrove sites on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, which each have their specific characteristics. It relies on the expertise of the University of Mexico, which conducts hydro-ecological diagnostics of the sites and defines the most appropriate methods for natural and/or community-based reforestation. The scientific monitoring of the restoration process of each site is adapted to study the replicability and relevance of the actions conducted. 
  • Development, in Costa Rica, of mangrove ecosystems via environmental education and the promotion of sustainable economic activities related to these ecosystems. 
  • Definition, in Costa Rica, of a “National Social Blue Carbon Strategy” and planning instruments for institutional capacity building for public authorities in terms of the sustainable management of coastal wetland areas and mangroves, and for the measurement and evaluation of their benefits. 
  • Transfer South-South expertise. Implementation of the project in the sector of the Mono Delta in Benin with the pilot restoration of 30 hectares of a mangrove site, by applying the same methods and the same expertise as those developed for the sites in Costa Rica. The objective is to broaden the transfer of skills and sharing of experiences between Mexico, Costa Rica and Benin. The project also supports several actions for the sustainable management of sites, by promoting the development of alternative salt production methods, in order to reduce the cutting down of mangroves usually used for firewood.
  • Capitalization and South-South scientific exchanges: involve the academic sector in the various stages of the project and promote exchanges of experience at the Mesoamerican and international levels. 
  • Fully contributes to the conservation of the global environment by restoring mangrove areas in Costa Rica and Benin, but especially by taking a large-scale replicability approach based on South-South cooperation exchanges (Mexico, Costa Rica and Benin). 
  • Establishes a connection between mangrove restoration and carbon and methane emissions/storage. The project specifically contributes to the objective of Carbon Neutrality, which Costa Rica aims to achieve by 2021. 
  • Accounts for “blue carbon”, allowing it to be marketed in Costa Rica, and extends the existing framework of the PESP (National Payment for Environmental Services Program). This policy is the first of its kind at international level. 
Project start date
Project end date
Project grant date
4 ans
Duration of funding
financing tool
6 646 854 EUR
Amount of the program
1 270 000
Amount of FFEM funding
In progress
Système National des Aires de Conservation (SINAC) du Costa Rica
Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères
Institution responsible

Chargée de projets – Janique Etienne
Tél : +33 (0)1 53 44 35 04