ASANA (Friends of Nature, Central and Southern Pacific Coast) Costa Rica

The mission of ASANA is to secure the long-term conservation of the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor and surrounding natural areas by empowering local communities and residents to take action in support of conservation actions. In particular, we support the development of local community organizations, cooperation among government and non-governmental organizations, and environmental education. We serve as a local coordinator of research activities, and we act as advocate when required to address high-priority needs.
Apr 16, 2014

Re-envisioning the Savegre Biosphere Reserve

ASANA hopes that 2014 proves to be the year that we successfully get Savegre declared a Biosphere Reserve.  Major tasks like this one – getting formal international recognition of the biological importance of an area such as the Savegre – are never easy to accomplish and require a lot of perseverance and patience.  But we are getting close and we appreciate your support as we continue our efforts.

 Here are some highlights of what is happening right now:

  • We coordinated overflights with CAVU to monitor the state of the watershed and get good aerial photographs of pristine areas and major threats to conservation.
  • We are redrafting the UNESCO proposal to declare Savegre a Biosphere Reserve.
  • We are developing various proposals to finance the final stages of getting the Savegre declared a Biosphere Reserve.
  • We have received generous donations of photos, videos, and satellite images to begin to put together a promotional video of the Savegre Biosphere Reserve and the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor.
  • We will be working with the Panthera Foundation to do a scientific study of various species of cats – including jaguar, puma, ocelot, jaguarondi, and margay – in the Savegre Watershed.
  • We are working with Park authorities and other governemnt agencies to include Manual Antonio National Park – Costa Rica’s most visited nation park – in the Savegre Watershed Biosphere Reserve. 

We're getting there... Somtimes more slowly that we would like, but like I said... "perseverance and patience"! Again, thanks for your continued support.

Mar 17, 2014

ASANA Green Certification

ASANA continues to consolidate and strengthen the Local Council, which is increasingly taking on the management role of the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor (PTBC). Over the past few months, the Local Council, through ASANA’s facilitation, has finalized its official bylaws that must be approved by the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment (MINAE) for the Council to become a legally recognized entity. Just recently, ASANA presented the final bylaws for approval to the MINAE Central Pacific Regional Council. We expect to learn if the bylaws are approved during the month of April.

One of the most exciting achievements over the past few months has been the initiation of the first round of “Green Certification” in the Path of the Tapir. This is an idea that ASANA has wanted to implement for many years but only recently got the funding to be able to do so. The idea is to recognize individuals and businesses in the Corridor who are making significant contributions to the conservation and connectivity of the Path of the Tapir. Our main focus is to identify large private properties of intact forests whose owners have worked hard – often at great person expense and sacrifice – to protect. We have identified four such properties – all over 250 acres – and are now evaluating their conservation potential with their owners. We expect these critical pieces of natural habitat will be certified by ASANA and the Path of the Tapir Local Council during the month of March.

ASANA continues to mature into an effective local organization whose leadership in the region continues to grow, thanks to our phenomenal executive director, Andrea Herrera. We thank you for your continued support of ASANA and hope you stay with us on this journey.

Jan 15, 2014

New Help for ASANA's Savegre Work!

This past reporting period has been a bit quiet given the holidays at the end of the year.  But we have made progress on lining up the Municipality of Aguirre and incorporating Manuel Antonio National Park into the proposal.   The Path of the Tapir local council also continues to gather steam and is expected to be the entity that submits the Biosphere Reserve proposal to UNESCO.

Recently, one of the founders of Rafiki Safari Lodge (http://www.rafikisafari.com/ ) in the Savegre Watershed, Lautjie Boshoff,  joined the ASANA Board.  Rafiki is a wilderness luxury tent camp and conservation project focusing on adventurous sustainable tourism.  It is one of Costa Rica’s premier truly “eco” ecotourism businesses… (Rafiki will soon be certified by ASANA and the Path of the Tapir local council for meeting extremely high biodiversity conservation standards.) Rafiki is nestled on 842 acres of pristine rain forest – all bought by the Boshoff family with conservation in mind – along the Savegre River, 30 km south of Quepos and Manuel Antonio. In addition to establishing and running Rafiki Lodge for many years, Lautjie is a Wildlife Biologist by training, with a specialty in wildlife reintroductions. We anticipate that we will be working closely with Lautjie and the Costa Rican government to analyze the feasibility and utility of reintroducing key species in the Savegre Watershed and Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor, including our flagship species, Baird's Tapir.  The membership of ASANA could not be happier with Lautjie’s participation in the ASANA Board.    

As always, I want to express my appreciation for your continued support of ASANA, the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor, and the Savegre River Watershed.

From all of us at ASANA, we wish you a very happy 2014!

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