Trends in environmental education for biodiversity conservation in Costa Rica

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Costa Rica is internationally recognized for its abundant biodiversity and being a leader in the promotion of education strategies for biodiversity conservation. We interviewed staff from 16 institutions developing key environmental communication, education, and participation projects for biodiversity conservation in the country. Through content analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis and Chi-square tests, we examined the characteristics of the projects carried out by these institutions and developed a typology of four categories derived from six variables: primary audience, content, project purpose, location, scale, and facility. Then, we designed a conceptual model describing the integration of conservation and economic development in the educational projects. We found two key approaches related to this integration: vision of nature protection which aims to inform audiences of ecological concepts and focuses on schoolchildren and vision of sustainability which engages adult audiences and is management-oriented. Education for community-based environmental management may serve as a good example of educational projects which integrate conservation and economic development, implementing a vision of sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)221-238
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 01.02.2017
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Costa Rica, Biodiversity education, Community-based management, Biological education, Green classrooms, Integration, Sustainability
  • Sustainability education