TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: Deforestation rates tables and charts

Costa Rica Forest Information and Data

According to the U.N. FAO, 51.0% or about 2,605,000 ha of Costa Rica is forested, according to FAO. Of this 23.9% ( 623,000 ) is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse and carbon-dense form of forest. Costa Rica had 241,000 ha of planted forest.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2010, Costa Rica lost an average of 2,050 ha or 0.08% per year. In total, between 1990 and 2010, Costa Rica gained 1.6% of its forest cover, or around 41,000 ha.

Costa Rica's forests contain 238 million metric tons of carbon in living forest biomass. Biodiversity and Protected Areas: Costa Rica has some 1511 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 6.9% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 6.6% are threatened. Costa Rica is home to at least 12119 species of vascular plants, of which 7.8% are endemic. 9.3% of Costa Rica is protected under IUCN categories I-V.

2011 Update

In May 2011, Sassan Saatchi of Caltech's Jet Propulsion Lab and colleagues published a paper in PNAS with
new carbon stock estimates for global tropical forests.

Forest definition (canopy cover %)10% tree cover25% tree cover30% tree cover
Forest Area (M ha)433
Aboveground forest carbon (Mt C)333255235
Belowground forest carbon (Mt C)937165
Total forest carbon (Mt C)426327300
Average Carbon Density (t C/ha)102105108
M=million, t=metric tons; all figures are mean carbon stock values

Costa Rica Environmental profile | Costa Rica pictures

The following contains data relating to forest cover in Costa Rica

Previous version of this profile (2009)

SECTIONS:

Forest Cover | Breakdown of forest types | Change in Forest Cover | Deforestation | Primary forest | Planted forest | Forest designation | Forest ownership | Growing stock | Carbon stock | Disturbances affecting forest land | Removals | Removals Value | Employment | Forest policy | Human resources | Revenue | Agreements | Protected areas | Biodiversity - Wildlife | Biodiversity - Plants | Environment | Land use / Resources | Economy | Population / Demographics | Infrastructure | Health | References | Books










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Costa Rica: Forest Cover, 2010
Total Land Area (1000 square kilometers)5106
Total Forest Area (1000 ha)2605
Percent Forest Cover51
Primary Forest Cover (1000 ha)623
Primary Forest, % total forest24
Other wooded land (1000 ha)12
Percent other wooded landn.s.




Costa Rica: Breakdown of forest types, 2010
Primary forest (1000 ha | % of forest area)62324
Other naturally regenerated forest (1000 ha | % of forest area)174167
Planted Forest (1000 ha | % of forest area)2419


Costa Rica: Trends in Total (Net) Forest Cover, 1990-2010
TOTAL FOREST COVER (1000 ha)
1990200020052010
2564237624912605
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (1000 ha)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
-192323
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (percent)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
-0.760.950.90


Costa Rica: Trends in Natural Forest Cover (Deforestation), 1990-2010
FOREST COVER (excluding planted forests) (1000 ha)
1990200020052010
2269217322692364
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (1000 ha)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
-10-1019
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (percent)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
-0.4-0.420.88


Costa Rica: Trends in Primary or Old Growth Forest Cover, 1990-2010
PRIMARY FOREST COVER (1000 ha)
1990200020052010
623623623623
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (1000 ha)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
000
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (percent)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
000


Costa Rica: Trends in Planted Forest Cover, 1990-2010
PLANTED FOREST COVER (1000 ha)
1990200020052010
295203222241
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (1000 ha)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
-944
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (percent)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
-3.671.781.66


Costa Rica: Primary designated function (percent)
ProductionProtection of soil and waterConservation of biodiversitySocial servicesMultiple useOtherNone or unknown
141124415032


Costa Rica: Forest ownership and management rights 2005 (percent)
OWNERSHIP PATTERN
Public ownershipPrivate ownershipOther
45550


PRIVATE OWNERSHIP
IndividualsBusiness entities and institutionsLocal, indigenous and tribal communities
---


HOLDER OF MANAGEMENT RIGHTS OF PUBLIC FORESTS
Public administrationIndividualsBusiness entities and InstitutionsCommunitiesOther
1000000
Costa Rica: Growing stock in forest
GROWING STOCK IN FOREST
Total
(million m3)
Per hectare
(m3)
Coniferous
(million m3)
Broadleaved
(million m3)
% commercial species
272104---
GROWING STOCK IN FOREST
Total (million m3)Per hectare (m3)Coniferous (million m3)Broadleaved (million m3)% commercial species
--


Costa Rica: Trends in carbon stock in living forest biomass 1990-2010
CARBON STOCK IN LIVING FOREST BIOMASS
(million metric tons)
1990200020052010
233217227238
CARBON STOCK IN LIVING FOREST BIOMASS
(per hectare in tons)
2000
91
ANNUAL CHANGE
(1 000 t/yr)
1990200020052010
-222
ANNUAL CHANGE PER HECTARE
(t/ha/yr)
1990200020052010
n.s.n.s.n.s.


Costa Rica: Area of forest affected by fire and other disturbances 2005
FOREST FIRE
1000 ha% wild fire (not managed burn)
7-


EXCLUDING FOREST FIRE
InsectsDiseasesOther biotic agentsAbiotic factorsTotal (excluding fire)% of 2005 forest area
------


Costa Rica: Trends in removals of wood products 1990-2005
INDUSTRIAL ROUNDWOOD
Total volume (1 000 m3 over bark)
199020002005percent of which from forest 2005
1198776100675
WOODFUEL
Total volume (1 000 m3 over bark)
199020002005percent of which from forest 2005
-468468-


Costa Rica: Value of wood and NWFP removals 2005
Value of removals
(million US$)
Value per ha forest
(US$)
Industrial roundwoodWoodfuelNWFPTotal
178-24--


Costa Rica: Employment in forestry 1990-2005
TOTAL
(1000 full-time employees)
199020002005
---
IN PRIMARY PRODUCTION OF GOODS-FORESTRY
(1000 full-time employees)
199020002005
-75
IN MANAGEMENT OF PROTECTED AREAS-CONSERVATION
(1000 full-time employees)
199020002005
---


Costa Rica: Forest policy and legal framework 2008
National forest policy (year): Yes (2000)
Sub-national forest policy: No
National forest program (year) - status: Yes (2001) Under revision
National forest law (year): Specific forest law (1996) Sub-national forest law: No

Costa Rica: Human resources within public forest institutions 2000-2008
200020052008
#% female#% female#% female
--1225265253


Costa Rica: Forest revenue and public expenditure on forestry 2005
Forest revenuePublic expenditure (1000 US$)
Domestic fundingExternal fundingTotal
(1000 US$)Operational expenditureTransfer paymentsOperational expenditureTransfer paymentsOperational expenditureTransfer payments
1417120931721


Costa Rica: Status of ratification of international conventions and agreements as of 1 January 2010
  • CbD:
  • UNFCCC:
  • Kyoto Protocol:
  • UNCCD:
  • ITTA:
  • CITeS:
  • Ramsar:
  • World Heritage Convention:
  • NlbI: [an error occurred while processing this directive] Costa Rica: Environment
    Environment - current issuesdeforestation and land use change, largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching and agriculture; soil erosion; coastal marine pollution; fisheries protection; solid waste management; air pollution
    Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
    Natural hazardsoccasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season and landslides; active volcanoes


    Costa Rica: Land use / Resources
    Land use (%)arable land: 4.41%
    permanent crops: 5.88%
    other: 89.71% (2001)
    Natural resourceshydropower


    Costa Rica: Economy
    Economy - overview:Costa Rica's basically stable economy depends on tourism, agriculture, and electronics exports. Poverty has been substantially reduced over the past 15 years, and a strong social safety net has been put into place. Foreign investors remain attracted by the country's political stability and high education levels, and tourism continues to bring in foreign exchange. Low prices for coffee and bananas have hurt the agricultural sector. The government continues to grapple with its large internal and external deficits and sizable internal debt. The reduction of inflation remains a difficult problem because of rises in the price of imports, labor market rigidities, and fiscal deficits. The country also needs to reform its tax system and its pattern of public expenditure. Costa Rica is the only signatory to the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) that has not ratified it. CAFTA implementation would result in economic reforms and an improved investment climate.
    GDP - per capita$10,000 (2005 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate (%)3.2% (2005 est.)
    Agriculture - productscoffee, pineapples, bananas, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef; timber
    GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 8.6%, industry: 28.3%, services: 63.1% (2005 est.)
    Industries microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
    Population below poverty line (%)18% (2004 est.)
    Debt - external$3.633 billion (30 June 2005 est.)
    Labor force - by occupation (%)agriculture 20%, industry 22%, services 58% (1999 est.)


    Costa Rica: Population / Demographics
    Population (July 2005)4,016,173
    Population growth rate (%) (2005)1.48%
    Population density (people/sq km) (2005)79.3
    Percent rural (2003)39.4%
    Median age (years)total: 26.03 years
    Total fertility rate (children born/woman)2.28 (2005 est.)
    Ethnic groups (%)white (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1%


    Largest Cities in Costa Rica

    Cities and urban areas in Costa Rica with population over 100,000 All figures are estimates for 2002.

    CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population
    San JoseCosta Rica3576001370800


    Costa Rica: Infrastructure
    Telephones - main lines in use1.132 million (2002)
    Telephones - mobile cellular528,047 (2002)
    Roadways (km)total: 35,889 km
    paved: 8,075 km
    unpaved: 27,814 km (2003)


    Costa Rica: Health
    Life expectancy at birth (years)total population: 76.84 years
    male: 74.26 years
    female: 79.55 years (2005 est.)
    Infant mortality rate9.95 deaths/1,000 live births
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)0.6% (2003 est.)

    Costa Rica : References & Data Sources
     Environment, Land use / Resources, Economy, Population / Demographics, Infrastructure, Health -- CIA World Factbook, 2005
     Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005 & 2010) and the State of the World's Forests (2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001)
     Protected Areas, Plant and animal biodiversity -- United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2004. World Database on Protected Areas.
     Biosphere reservers -- United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Man and Biosphere Program. 2004. UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory.
     RAMSAR sites -- The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands . 2005. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
     World Resources Institute's EarthTrends web site
     The 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
     Population Data -- United Nations Population Fund
     With additional analysis by Rhett Butler of mongabay.com



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