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Rainforest of the Austrians

Rainforest of the Austrians




In 1991, the Esquinas forest in southern Costa Rica, one of the last unprotected lowland tropical rainforests on the Pacific coast of Central America, was declared a national park by presidential decree. However, since all land was in private hands, it could only be catalogued as a "paper park" until it was owned by the Costa Rican national park service. Exploitation permits to use these lush forests had been issued before the declaration of the park and deforestation actually continued, inflicting irreversible damages upon the Esquinas Forest and jeopardizing the objectives of the decree. Later that year, Michael Schnitzler, a well-known classical violinist from Vienna and part-time resident of Costa Rica, founded a non-profit organization called "Regenwald der Österreicher" ("Rainforest of the Austrians") with the goal of raising funds to buy property in the Esquinas Forest. By 2006, over 15,000 mostly Austrian individuals had donated about EUR 2,000,000, enabling the purchase of about 34,7 square kilometres of rainforest.


Währinger Str. 182/24 A-1180 Wien