The Socioecological Evolution of a Biological Corridor: A 15-year Case Study of the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor in Southern Costa Rica


  • Ana Maria Martinez York University
  • Felipe Montoya-Greenheck York University


Concerns around the isolation of protected areas led to the establishment of Biological Corridors in Central America two decades ago. Created by executive decree and within the National Framework of Biological Corridors in Costa Rica, the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor has become an example of collective actions and imaginaries that provides alternative models of rural community
development. Multiple lessons arise from this ‘lived experiment’ in Southern Costa Rica, where differing ideologies, agendas, and paradigms converge and where place and a sense of place shape social interactions, both discursive and material. The
Biological Corridor becomes a framework with guiding principles for stakeholders, where biodiversity conservation and sustainable development are intertwined in both a local and regional project of global significance.

Keywords: Biological Corridors, socioecological wellbeing, community-based conservation, rural livelihoods, imaginaries, Buen Vivir

Author Biographies

Ana Maria Martinez, York University

Research Associate Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change

Felipe Montoya-Greenheck, York University

Professor, Chair of Neotropical Conservation, Director of Las Nubes Project in Costa Rica Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change