Forests & Biodiversity

Private nature reserves contributing to the public cause by conserving, protecting and restoring their local environments

Project Facts


Project Volume
1-5 Mio. EUR

Applied Financing Solutions
Grants, Private Equity, Private Donations

Project Dates
Start: 2001
In operation since/from: 2001

The Story

While many of Nicaragua’s public nature reserves gradually die a slow death from illegal logging, the Foundation for the Development of Private Nature Reserves in Nicaragua (Red de Reservas Silvestres Privadas, Red-RSP) has achieved important conservational work. Hand in hand with the preservation of woodland and water catchment areas goes the protection of the country’s unique biodiversity. Thanks to active dialogue and joint initiatives with neighboring actors, habitats and eco-systems are preserved even outside the protected areas in so-called biological corridors. The foundation promotes innovative ways for local actors to generate income, improves their quality of life and increases the sustainable use of natural resources.

Red-RSP was founded in 2001 by the owners of the first six private nature reserves approved by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Environment. Over the years, the association has grown to 48 members representing more than 140 private reserves which have become part of the National System of Protected Areas (SINAP). In total, more than 11,000 hectares of primary and secondary forests are being protected and conserved today. Their capacity to absorb and store tens of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide increases by about 10 percent each year.

Success Factor | Hero Moment

Since Nicaragua’s govern­ment agencies provide no direct subsidies for the conservation of forests, biodiversity, water sources and corresponding initiatives, establishing the Red-RSP has been an effort by a few people believing in voluntary conservation who devoted part of their property to this cause. They were supported by a staff of scientists, volunteers and development cooperation organizations such as the Austrian HORIZONT3000. The success of the initiative can be attributed to their personal will and dedication combined with a certain entrepreneurial approach to develop touristic and other marketing activities covering part of the costs and generating local income in the reserves.

Cámara de Conservación Ecológica de Nicaragua (Cámara Red-RSP), Nicaragua

Other Involved Stakeholders
HORIZONT3000 Austria

Contact Mail


Private Initiative, Conservation, Travel & Tourism

Terminated Emissions
40.000 tons CO2e per year

Comparable to the annual CO2 absorption of
320.000 trees

Hard Facts
27.220 people are benefitting directly