Verde Ventures recently expanded its portfolio with a loan to a new enterprise that will help protect La Amistad National Park, a biological gem that helps protect the largest block of cloud forest in Mesoamerica.
Veragua Rainforest is a new ecotourism start-up project in Costa Rica designed to offer rain forest excursions, cultural experiences, and biodiversity conservation. The venture will directly help sustain the area’s natural wealth that benefits wildlife, many communities, and the nation as a whole.
Ecotourism has become an important sector in nearly every country in the Mesoamerica biodiversity hotspot and particularly in Costa Rica, which is probably the world's best-known example of the successful promotion of economic benefit from conservation. The country earns about $1.6 billion from tourism annually, and it is estimated that 70 percent of the country’s tourists visit natural protected areas.
The Veragua Rainforest site, located on the outskirts of La Amistad off the Caribbean coast, will create environmentally friendly jobs and a new educational experience of the rain forest.
It will include a frog station, snake and butterfly farms, a hummingbird garden, a biodiversity research center, interpretation stations, and a series of land and canopy trails for exploration in a preserved natural rain forest.
The estate where the project is located together with neighboring properties is part of an existing logging management area. Project managers have successfully negotiated with neighboring landowners to halt cutting of primary forest in an area of approximately 1,000 hectares.
In addition to forest preservation, the project will benefit biodiversity research in partnership with Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (the National Biodiversity Institute), which will base its first research station in the Caribbean at the site.
Neighboring La Amistad National Park, internationally recognized as a Natural World Heritage Site, provides habitat for dozens of globally threatened species, including Central American tapir ( Tapirus bairdii), Central American squirrel monkey ( Saimiri oerstedii), and three-wattled bellbird ( Procnias tricarunculatus).