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The Green Republic A Conservation History of Costa Rica by Sterling Evans

The Green Republic A Conservation History of Costa Rica


The Green Republic A Conservation History of Costa Rica by Sterling Evans

With over 25 percent of its land set aside in national parks and other protected areas, Costa Rica is renowned worldwide as the green republic. In this very readable history of conservation in Costa Rica, Sterling Evans explores the establishment of the country's national park system as a response to the rapid destruction of its tropical ecosystems due to the expansion of export-related agriculture. Drawing on interviews with key players in the conservation movement, as well as archival research, Evans traces the emergence of a conservation ethic among Costa Ricans and the tangible forms it has taken. In Part I, he describes the development of the national park system and the grand contradiction that conservation occurred simultaneously with massive deforestation in unprotected areas. In Part II, he examines other aspects of Costa Rica's conservation experience, including the important roles played by environmental education and nongovernmental organizations, campesino and indigenous movements, ecotourism, and the work of the National Biodiversity Institute.


Using a wide range of sources, including interviews, archives, and newspapers, Evans paints a complex and nuanced picture of how conservation emerged in twentieth-century Costa Rica....This lucid and thoughtful work will be useful to historians and policymakers, and as a textbook for graduate and undergraduate courses on agriculture, development, and conservation in Latin America. * Hispanic American Historical Review *

About the Author

Sterling Evans teaches environmental history at Humboldt State University in northern California.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st January 1999


Sterling Evans

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University of Texas Press


335 pages


Conservation of the environment



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