ED Andrea Herrera with Nobel Laureate Adolfo Perez
2016 proved to be an extraordinary year for ASANA, thanks, in large part, to the kind and generous donations we received through Global Giving. Two long-standing dreams have recently been realized by ASANA and one extraordinary prayer was answered…
First, only a few months ago, a tapir was not only spotted but also photographed in the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor. “Noteworthy?” you ask?... After all, it is called the Path of the Tapir….. Right? Yes, it is, but the name has always been aspirational. The name of Costa Rica’s biggest, and arguably most successful, biological corridor, was coined by our very own local conservation hero and longtime ASANA president, Jack Ewing of Hacienda Barú. I asked Jack what prompted him and his colleagues some 20 years ago to come up with that name and he said “The day we recreate a land bridge along the Pacific Coast healthy enough to support tapirs roaming from the Osa Pennisula to the Talamanca Mountain Range – and the day we actually see a tapir using it - is the day we can say we have succeeded in creating an enduring biological corridor.” You see? Dreams can come true with a lot of hard work, dedication, and support. Despite enormous and ongoing threats to biodiversity and sustainable development, ASANA has made a huge impact on the restoration of habitat along the length of the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor.
The second long-standing dream that has been realized is the final submission of our proposal to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to establish the Savegre River Watershed as a Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB) Biosphere Reserve. According to UNESCO’s own website, “MAB combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.” Currently, there are 669 Biosphere Reserves found across 120. We’re hoping the Savegre becomes number 670! It is a very difficult process to be considered for Biosphere Reserve status, but achievement of this dream would represent immense international recognition that the Savegre River Watershed is a remarkable piece of nature, managed in a remarkable way, by a remarkable group of communities – all for the greater good of our planet.
Finally, our prayer that was answered…. Not even a year ago, our wonderful, one-of-a-kind executive director, Andrea Herrera, almost lost her life in a truly horrific traffic accident. She was very lucky to have survived but was so badly injured some thought she may never walk again. We so appreciate the outpouring of support and wishes for Andrea we received from many of you during her ordeal. I am happy to report that, if you saw Andrea today, you’d think nothing ever happened to her! She is the same animated, energetic, positive, strong, focused woman she was before the accident. For this, we are all eternally grateful.
So you see, it has truly been a spectacular year for ASANA. I hope you will continue to support us to help us achieve even more in the years to come.