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Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Costa Rica is the seat of the regional French cooperation scheme with the French Institute of Central America (IFAC). This is also the last Latin American country to have maintained the status of French in the compulsory education system (alongside English), and our cooperation includes training for the thousands of French teachers in the primary, secondary and tertiary education systems.

French cultural cooperation is based on a network consisting of a particularly dynamic Alliance Française (2650 students) and a French-Costa Rican High School (800 students in 2010).

University cooperation, one of the strengths of our relationship with Costa Rica, provided for two creations in 2011: that of the Jacques-Yves Cousteau Seas and Coastal Area Observatory in Costa Rica and Central America, and the creation of a UNESCO-Cousteau Chair at the University of Costa Rica (collaboration with IRD and Université de Bretagne Occidentale). For its part, CIRAD is firmly established with ten researchers (particularly at the CATIE).

The French Global Environment Facility (FGEF) has spent €1 million on the “Biodiversity Protection in the Coco Island Marine Conservation Area” project – this island is a World Heritage listed site.

Our cooperation with Costa Rica also involves the European channel. For 2007-2013, EU aid (€34 million) covers the areas of social cohesion and poverty as well as integrating immigrant populations (indeed, from 600,000 to 1 million Nicaraguans live in Costa Rica).

Updated on 13.02.12

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