Forest operators got $1.7 million in 2015

The government paid small and medium owners of forest land 900 million colons or about $1.7 million in 2015 under an environmental payment program.

The money was disbursed by the Fondo Nacional de Financiamiento Forestal under its pago por servicios ambientales program.

The fund pays forest owners for the greenhouse gases the trees may capture as well as the water sources the forest may protect. The natural beauty of the area also is a consideration, according to an announcement.

The fund said that its payments covered 300,000 hectares (a bit more than 740,000 acres) of forest and benefited 3,500 persons.

The fund is affiliated with the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía.

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