Ministry of Environment and Energy (Costa Rica)

Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (Costa Rica)


The Ministry of Environment and Energy (Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía; MINAE) is the executive body responsible for environmental matters. It was created by the General Environmental Law of 1995, which gave new functions to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines (MIRENEM) and changed its name. Between June 2010 and 2012, MINAE also had responsibility over telecoms and was called MINAET. At the time of writing (November 2013) there is a draft law under deliberation that would recognise the responsibility of the institution over oceans and change its name to the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Oceans.

Several environmental institutions are attached to MINAE, though they do not form part of it. These include: (i) the National Conservation Areas System (SINAC), which promotes sustainable forestry management and regulates national protected areas as well as timber harvesting on private land; and (ii) the National Meteorological Institution (IMN), the national focal point before the UNFCCC and one of the main institutions in land use measurement (including forest cover) using remote sensors.

Within MINAE the Climate Change Office (Dirección de Cambio Climático; DCC) is the institution responsible for Costa Rica's wider policies on climate change, including the national carbon market created in September 2013 and the policy of becoming a carbon neutral country in 2021. MINAE has a seat on the board of the National Forestry Finance Fund (FONAFIFO), which is responsible for the Payments for Ecosystem Services Programme (PPSA) and for REDD+.