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.
Dec 23, 2014

We Are Members of the Tapir Specialist Group!

The Saverge Tapir Project has made significant progress in the past few months. The first goal of the project was to attend the International Tapir Symposium in Brazil. The conference was held in Campo Grande, Brazil on the 17th -22nd  of November. The collaborators of the ASANA team were able to meet other people in tapir conservation and establish contacts in order to help the project progress. The Symposium hosted people from around the world including field researchers, zoologists, and academics. The response of the TSG (Tapir Specialist Group) was very positive. The philosophy of the Saverge Tapir Project at Rafiki is very much in line with the IUCN’s goal of implementing the “One Plan Approach” to the all captive endangered species. The role of ASANA’s project would allow scientific research to advance the understanding of what is necessary to help captive tapirs make the transition from captivity back into the wild.

Some of the key advancements include the introduction to individuals that will accurately be able to estimate costs for the project as well as give sound advice as to the size of the containment area, the amount of animal within the enclosure, and appropriate habitat and diet for the animals brought in.

The next step for the Savegre Tapir Project at Rafiki is to acquire sufficient funds to bring a specialist to the investigation site in order to come up with an estimate of the cost for the project. The project hopes to increase its funding efforts with more social marketing and the sale of t-shirts.

This coming year is promising for the project and we hope to show serious advancements. We want to show the world a new model which allows conservation to not only protects the land it has set out to preserve, but includes local populations to make sure that the future generations are as passionate about the environment as we are. 


Dec 23, 2014

Official Recognition by Local Council

The Savegre River Watershed was officially recognized at the last meeting of the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor Local Council.  This council is comprised of residents and business owners who live in the region. Its approval represents a major step in securing local support and advocacy for the Savegre Biosphere Reserve. 

In addition, the ASANA executive director, Andrea Herrera, and one of the ASANA board members, Lautjie Boshoff, presented our new Savegre Tapir Conservation work at the IUCN Tapir Specialist Group meeting in Campo Grande, Brazil this last November.  Lautjie is leading ASANA's efforts to reintroduce tapir into the lower reaches of the Savegre River Watershed. (They are currently often found in the upper watershed.) 

Finally, ASANA has continued to present the Savegre River Watershed Biosphere Reserve concept to the Government of Costa Rica and the UNESCO MAB program office in order to have the ground well prepared for the moment when we are ready to present a final proposal.

We wish all of our supporters a very happy holiday season and all the best for 2015!

Oct 14, 2014

Super Organization, Super Human

Andrea Herrera, Executive Director of ASANA
Andrea Herrera, Executive Director of ASANA

ASANA continues to mature as an organization, but I must say, it is all on the shoulders of our exceptional executive director, Andrea Herrera.  Somehow, Andrea does it all – and then some. She does all of our project design, planning, management, monitoring, and evaluation work. She does all of our outreach work, including interacting with local communities and businesses, the Costa Rican Government, institutional donors (including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the CR-USA Debt for Nature Swap Fund), and other partners organizations.  She does most of our fundraising, including developing and submitting proposals. And, ultimately, she does all the actual work of ASANA…. Heck! She even washes the ASANA vehicle and cleans the ASANA office!  In other words, and in all seriousness, ASANA would be nothing if not for Andrea and her smarts, passion, commitment, hard work, and good nature. I’m going to share here, with you, a few examples of the things Andrea produced, virtually by herself this past month:

  • Facilitation of the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor local council to produce a first draft of the first-ever 5-year strategic plan for the Corridor;
  • Closing out our two major grants – UNDP and CR-USA Debt for Nature Swap – including wrapping up all program activities and closing out the financial books;
  • Training local water commissioners how to consider and incorporate climate change adaptation issues into future water management;
  • Management of monitoring of wildlife “camera traps” in two major protected properties in the Corridor;
  • Representation of ASANA in the 1st Congress on Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release in Costa Rica;  
  • Design, production, and placement of new signs marking the boundaries of the Corridor along the three major entrance routes;   and
  • Draft production of a short video on the Path of the Tapir and the Savegre River Watershed to be used for promotional purposes.

Is this woman Superwoman, or what?!?! I think you’ll agree that this represents a significant amount of work for one person in such a short amount of time. 

I desperately want to show Andrea in these coming months just how much she means to ASANA and conservation in the Central Pacific Zone. That’s why I am dedicating fundraising efforts, between now and the end of December, to Andrea – to show her just how much we all care about and appreciate her work.  So, I urge you to join me in supporting Andrea by supporting ASANA.  I will kick-off this campaign by making an additional personal donation of $200. Please join me and do what you can! And if you do want to make your donation in Andrea’s name, please indicate that on the GlobalGiving site.



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