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Thanks to our new partnership with FONAFIFO, Costa Rica’s internationally renowned National Forestry Financing Fund​​, visitors to Peninsula Papagayo are now able to offset their travel emissions while making positive local impacts, contributing directly to increased forest cover in Costa Rica's northern sector
By Francesca Poddie | August 5, 2022 | Guanacaste
Biodiversity
Sustainability

Carbon offsetting has become very popular in recent years as a way of mitigating unavoidable carbon emissions from travel, mainly from aircraft. By purchasing carbon credits, travelers can take actionable steps to help balance out their carbon footprint.

For the past several months, Susana Vicente, Peninsula Papagayo’s Head of Sustainability, has been spearheading efforts to create a made in Costa Rica carbon offset program that improves the wellbeing of local communities.

“Thanks to our new partnership with FONAFIFO, Costa Rica’s acclaimed National Forestry Financing Fund​​, visitors to Peninsula Papagayo are now able to offset their travel emissions while contributing directly to increase forest cover in Costa Rica’s northern sector”, Susana said.

FONAFIFO is Costa Rica’s lauded National Forestry Financing Fund, recipient of the 2020 United Nations Global Climate Action. Operating under the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), it was created in 1996 with the objective of funding innovative and integrative environmental solutions to combat climate change.

Its successful conservation model and flagship Payments for Environmental Services (PES) Program has received international attention for reversing deforestation and restoring ecosystems — most recently the 2021 Earthshot Prize, which is a grant set up by Prince William and the Royal Foundation to support people and organizations that are developing innovative solutions to repair the planet within the decade.

For this initiative, Peninsula Papagayo also partnered with ClimateTrade, the world’s first climate marketplace that directly connects individuals who want to offset their carbon footprint with certified climate regeneration projects. It also uses blockchain technology to ensure traceability of payments.
This particular type of direct financing has transformed the traditional concept of “subsidy” or “incentive” to “economic recognition” for environmental services that increase the ecological, social and economic value of the forest.

This particular type of direct financing has transformed the traditional concept of “subsidy” or “incentive” to “economic recognition” for environmental services that increase the ecological, social and economic value of the forest.

“With this innovative tool, Peninsula Papagayo is now able to offer guests the opportunity to seamlessly offset their carbon travel footprint at checkout with a customized ClimateTrade widget that calculates their emissions and allows them to purchase FONAFIFO carbon credits,” noted Vicente.

 

Where does the money go? “Ninety-percent of the contribution goes directly to the Payments for Environmental Services Program to support forest preservation, carbon sequestration and water regulation,” Vicente explained. “The remaining 10% goes to a ClimateTrade administration fee. Peninsula Papagayo does not accrue any profits for providing this service; it’s strictly an amenity for our guests.”

Peninsula Papagayo has also begun its transition to green-powered transportation vehicles with the introduction of the Toyota Mirai, a green hydrogen powered car. The Mirai uses carbon-free energy developed by the Ad Astra Rocket Company—an environmental services enterprise headquartered in Liberia, Costa Rica that was founded by former NASA astronaut, Franklin Chang.

“By using this calculator and offsetting travel emissions to and from Peninsula Papagayo, guests will have the chance to close the carbon footprint circle of their trip, and make a direct impact in protecting and regenerating the country’s biodiversity,” said Vicente.