Using a GIS to Determine Critical Areas in
the Central Volcanic Cordillera
Grégoire Leclerc and Johnny Rodriguez Chacón
THE Foundation for the Development of the Central Cordillera (FUNDECOR) is a nongovernmental organization whose mission is to preserve and promote sustainable development of the natural and cultural patrimony of the Central Volcanic Cordillera Conservation Area (ACCVC; Area de Conservación Cordillera Volcanica Central). It promotes the self-financing of the national parks as well as activities of the private sector within ACCVC which are deemed sustainable, such as ecotourism or “green” forest management. FUNDECOR's actions are based on the principle that conservation and development are complementary and can coexist in harmony.
ACCVC, which is part of the National Parks Service of Costa Rica (NPS), is located in the central sector of the country (figure 9.1). It covers approximately 300,000 hectares. About 71,500 hectares correspond to protected areas by law as national parks while another 100,000 hectares are covered by dense rain forest in the buffer areas. The remainder is used for pasture and agriculture.
FUNDECOR and ACCVC/NPS support the protected areas to preserve and guarantee biodiversity, water quality, and scenic beauty through self-financing, territorial consolidation, and improved administration and planning. In the buffer zones FUNDECOR preserves all the area covered by rain forest through sustainable management of the forest resource. Both groups promote reforestation in the deforested areas.
Part of the strategy for conservation and development in the ACCVC, developed by FUNDECOR, USAID, NPS, and the Direction General Forestal (DGF— the Costa Rican equivalent to the U.S. Forest Service) with the technical assistance