Carlos Manuel Rodríguez

Minister of the Environment and Energy
Costa Rica

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez is a Lawyer and for the second time, he is playing the rol of Minister of Environment and Energy for the Republic of Costa Rica.

There, he has been a pioneer in the development of payment for ecosystem services (PES).

Mr. Rodriguez understands the political preconditions necessary for successful implementation of PES systems that benefit local communities. As the Minister of Environment, he managed to curb logging and deforestation trends to achieve a national net growth of forested areas through natural regeneration and reforestation.

He is also internationally recognized for promoting the concept of identifying and capturing the economic value of standing forests within protected areas, private forests and Indian reserves.

This approach provides local communities with economic incentives to act as stewards of nature’s bounty, providing an attractive alternative to selling mineral and timber rights for short-term gain.

As a result of his passion and hard work, marine conservation is now being fully addressed for the first time in Costa Rica. In recognition of his contributions, he was honored as the first ever recipient of the Global Ocean Conservation Award in 2005.

Former Vice President for Conservation Policy at Conservation International (CI). Before joining CI, Rodriquez was, a lawyer, politician and, above all, a conservationist, Rodriguez held various political posts in Costa Rica, including Director of the National Parks Service. He is also founder and Board member of many environmental NGOs in Costa Rica, in addition to several tropical research institutes.

In 2006, Rodriguez received the first annual Conservation Leadership Award from the Virginia-based Blue Moon Fund in a ceremony at the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, D.C. The $150,000 award from the foundation recognized the significant advances made in both terrestrial and marine conservation during his years of service to the Costa Rican government.

Currently, Minister Rodríguez is also part of the Bureau of the Convention on Biological Diversity as part of the Latinamerican representation.