Sustainability is one of the most important factors explaining Costa Rica’s attractiveness to tourists.
This initiative began in 2016 with IMEX Trade shows, when it consisted of boosting brand presence at trade fairs while also offsetting flights by Hosted Buyers attending meeting travel fairs.
In order to carry out this offsetting, a partnership was created with FONAFIFO that resulted in transferring land in Guanacaste that required reforestation.
The MICE Forest is located in the Horizontes Experimental Station. Horizontes Station is a research and development facility as well as a protected area served exclusively by a staff made up of members of the community. These workers enjoy social security benefits as well as learning about the local ecosystems and protecting them for future generations. They also help groups of visitors who come to learn about Costa Rica’s dry forest.
The site is also a popular destination for visits by students from universities, high schools and primary schools who come to learn about the dry forest.
The property receives support from the payment for environmental services (PES) program from ICT-FONAFIFO. No trees are planted, as the area is a natural regeneration site. The aim is to return to a mature forest ecosystem over time so that the local fauna gains additional habitat.
Funds from the MICE Forest offsetting initiative have been applied in the Horizontes Experimental Station, in an area that was degraded by livestock rearing activity many years ago. The aim is to foster the restoration of the ecosystem in such a way that not only provides the environmental service of carbon fixation but also recovers the biodiversity of plants and animals as well as other important ecosystem functions.
ICT’s contribution covers the protection of 158.4 ha of recovering forest for a 10-year period.
Every tree planted is estimated, on average, to take up 1 ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) over 15 years, which is generally the length of an offsetting project. Therefore, the offsetting under this program is equivalent to planting 13,300 trees.
The useful growing life of a tree in the offsetting project is 15 years, which gives us an approximate amount of 1 ton of CO2e fixed per tree, according to international estimates.
Offsetting initiatives for specific trade fairs: