This paper takes a historical, political-ecological approach to understand the present economic and environmental condition of Golfito, Costa Rica. Contemporary problems result from the convergence of local human ecological relationships, local and national economic depression, national and global environmental politics, and international political and economic inequity. Powerful transient corporate investors exploit opportunities made available by vulnerable developing nations in a pattern of ecologically destructive "development" that may meet local and national needs for revenue; geographically distanced "conservation" areas protect "green" reputations but do not necessarily result in protection. The implication of this pattern is that sustainable development is discursively finessed, rather than practically reconciled.
Keywords: sustainable development, conservation, Costa Rica, Golfito, multinational corporations, political ecology
How to Cite:
Gibson, J. W., (1999) “Balancing the Books on Conservation and Development: Transient Corporate Investment in Golfito, Costa Rica”, Journal of Political Ecology 6(1), 79-101. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/v6i1.21424