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Costa Rica Case Study

In Costa Rica, the Partnership will explore the nexus of agriculture intensification and nature-based restoration of coastal small-scale fisheries.


Golfo de Nicoya case study: Nexus of land use and nature-based solutions for coastal small-scale fisheries under different climate change scenarios

Case Study Objectives

  1. Explore the effect of land use and climate change on coastal ecosystems and fisheries in the Gulf of Nicoya and elucidate the implications of this link for climate policies, food security, sustainable fisheries and agriculture management.
  2. Co-develop potential land and ocean nature-based climate solutions for coastal fishing communities in the Gulf of Nicoya.
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of these potential land and ocean nature-based climate solutions under future social-economic and policy scenarios.
  4. Develop and apply decision support tools to elucidate the most effective and acceptable adaptation options.
  5. Develop a mixed hydroclimatic and socioeconomic predictive model to identify potential high-risk areas for food insecurity in the Gulf of Nicoya, to support the co-creation of policy guidelines aimed at reducing vulnerability to food insecurity

Golfo de Nicoya case study site

  • Source-to-Sea approach
  • Water quantity + quality
  • Future scenarios
  • Impact assessment on fisheries
  • Food security
  • Nutrition


Work Packages

WP 1 – PhD: Remotely sensed historic land use change and Gulf of Nicoya impacts

WP 2 – PhD: Hydrological and water quality modelling

WP 3 – PhD: Future water quantity and quality projections

WP 4 – PhD: Source-to-sea with ocean current modeling

WP 5: Future food security scenarios and adaptation strategies

WP 6: Changing biodiversity and fisheries in the Gulf of Nicoya

WP 7: Ecosystem-level climate impacts on the Gulf of Nicoya

WP 8: Apply a deliberative monetary valuation as a participatory tool for informing small-scale fisheries (SSF) stakeholder preferences in addressing food-climate-biodiversity challenges and their implications for human well-being

WP 9: Collaboratively develop a diagnosis of the current situation, priorities, plausible nature-based solutions and social ecological feasibility (trade-offs) of management scenarios for sustainable transformation within small-scale fisheries, in the context of the ocean-land nexus

WP 10: Prioritize the needs, values and interests of plural voices (plural valuation of ecosystems), especially underrepresented SSF stakeholders, for a transformative and gender equitable approach to climate resilience

WP 11: Project changes in ecological, social and economic indicators under different land use, climate changes scenarios and adaptation strategies proposed by fishers

WP 12: Apply storytelling and decision support tools to identify scenarios and adaptation strategies that may lead to desirable futures.


Christian Birkel

University of Costa Rica

Ingo Wehrtmann

University of Costa Rica

Tayler Clarke

University of British Columbia

Astrid S├ínchez 

University of Costa Rica