Governance Model

The creation of the Coastal Tourist Corridor arises from the analysis of the tourism’s potential of the communities next to the Marine Management Area (MMA) Bahía Santa Elena, whose participatory governance model is led by the Local Council (COLAC) of this MMA.

COLAC is a formal structure attached to the Regional Council (CORAC) of the Conservation Area of Guanacaste, whose vision is "to be a model of regional governance in the sustainable management of coastal marine resources and their ecosystem services, for the benefit of neighboring communities and society in general".

The ACG seeks to generate governance models, which is recognized as "interactions between structures, processes, and traditions that determine how responsibility is assumed and the power is exercised, how decisions of public interest are made and how citizens and other sectors raise their positions. The governance of natural resources and protected wilderness areas depends on the history, culture, traditional rights, access to information, market presence, financial flows, and a variety of informal influences in decisions." (MINAE 2016. Governance Decree in Protected Wilderness Areas.)

Through participatory work, supported by Association Costa Rica por Siempre and the Waitt Foundation in the neighbor communities of the MMA, various opportunities for insertion into the tourism value chain and the sustainable use of fishery resources have been visualized.

The proposal of a Coastal Tourist Corridor, as well as the formation of the service to offer organizations integrated into the CTC, are the result of the support of these entities, COLAC and the Guanacaste Conservation Area.


The creation of COLAC sealed by the MINAE Internal Audit (n.d.) is entered into the following agreement:

Agreement No.1 In accordance with article 49 of the Regulations to the Biodiversity Law, it is agreed to create the Local Council of the Site of Importance for Conservation Bahía Santa Elena in an official way, and thus the participatory process, negotiation, and agreements that the platform of actors has been developing and which has considered in its analysis, to incorporate the criteria of technical, administrative, social, and economic complexity for the creation of the BSE MMM.

The members who make up the Local Council:

  • The Fishermen Association of Santa Elena
  • The Fishermen Association of El Jobo
  • The tourism diving sector
  • The longline sector
  • The sports fishing sector
  • The tourism sectors
  • The Santa Elena District Council of Cuajiniquil
  • The National Coastguard Service

Among the first functions assigned to this COLAC, the elaboration of the General Management Plan, as well as the Fisheries Management Plan, was determined to promote the creation of the BSE MMA, in addition to formulating the decree of creation.