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.
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 ( ) 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!

Dec 9, 2013

Gathering Strength...

As many of you know, keeping a small NGO like ASANA is no easy task.... With the virtual collapse of the big international NGO's (including World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and Conservation International) in Costa Rica, things have become particularly tough.  These organizations used to help ASANA by providing small amounts of funds but now those are gone... We exist thanks to the generous donations of individuals - such as you - primarily though Global Giving.

Despite our financial challenges, ASANA continues to do some pretty incredible things.  The newly established Biological Corridor Local Council is going strong. We recently got great news that the Municipality of Aguirre will be signing our UNESCO proposal to make the Savegre a biosphere reserve (the last signature we needed!). We just completed our first private land easement registration (now the owners can get payments for environmental services and not pay taxes on their land, equaling considerable $ savings...). And, ASANA is in the process of wrapping up a totally cool and innovative study looking at wildlife mortality along the Southern Coastal Highway...

As the wet season comes to and end here on the Central Pacific Coast, we hope many of you will be coming down to spend time here. If you are, please let us know!

Happy Holidays to all!

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