2023 – The year of projects and cooperation

2023 – The year of projects and cooperation

A word from the chairman

If I may describe 2023 it in two words, I would choose ‘energizing’ and ‘demanding’. Partly because ‘positive’ and ‘growth’ actually dominate every year and this was certainly the case again in 2023. In terms of donations, 2023 was another record year. For that, of course, great thanks to everyone who contributed. And the logic is simple: more donations means more positive impact in Costa Rica!

Positive impact

The positive impact is increased with several projects started and implemented in 2023:

  • Dia del Arb√≥l, where all the students of the local elementary school visited us for lessons on nature conservation.
  • The reforestation of about 25 hectares of pasture land in the reserve by manually planting 25,000 (!) trees with the support of Trees for All. For this project we were able to provide 5 men and 4 women from the neighboring indigenous tribe with a nice job.
  • A diversity of smaller local projects with multi-year support from the Tui Care Foundation. This significantly improves social engagement and visibility and a large number of frog pools have been created for endangered frog species.
  • Taking research to the next level in cooperation with Utrecht University. We are working hard to establish some 20 research plots throughout the reserve with the aim of being able to conduct good long-term structural research into biodiversity and ecosystems.

The developments of last year are nicely in line with the decision at the end of 2021 to focus a little less on the expansion of the reserve and more on securing and local support. Fortunately, we were also able to save 2.6 hectares of beautiful forest from a logging neighbor after all.

Local strengthening

In addition to these great projects, we have also worked very hard to strengthen the organization locally. More local staff and foundation directors have been recruited and trained, and permits and other legal matters have been arranged even better, also with a view to the future. Around the turn of the year, the entire research center underwent a renovation to make all facilities even safer and more accessible.

We have also been able to and had to learn a lot. The result of all the projects mentioned above is really genuinely fantastic, but it has also put a lot of pressure on the Costa Rican organization in particular. In retrospect, not so strange when you consider that all the ‘normal’ activities have also continued full speed ahead. And those ‘normal’ activities include the following: running a fully staffed research center including supervising the students, protecting a 240-hectare rainforest reserve, employing 10 permanent staff members, conducting ongoing research and processing the results, rescuing animals whenever possible, maintaining the foundation’s assets well, expanding and keeping networks, and managing the local foundation. This of course is already a real achievement to execute and supervise well and thoroughly every year. A deep respect and big thanks to Maarten and Hanneke, our local managers and student supervisors in Costa Rica, is in order. And of course also to Matthijs, the operational manager in the Netherlands who, in addition to his paid work, also does at least as much volunteer work for the foundation in order to support everything from the Netherlands as well as possible.

Dutch organization makes good progress

Most of what is mentioned above is about Costa Rica, formally an autonomous organization supported by Adopt Rainforest from the Netherlands, but in practice much closer together (thankfully). But also in the Netherlands, of course, plenty of great things happened! Thanks to a partner we now have our own can of soda on the market, we celebrated a very enthusiastic and well attended summer festival in Utrecht where we also kicked off a long-term formal partnership with Utrecht University, everyone has again put a lot of time, passion, knowledge, skill and effort into fundraising, the workshops for elementary school, the partnerships and our visibility on social media.

Thanks to your support

Our thanks go out to everyone who shares our passion and contributes to it in their own way. Small or large, the contribution counts. All donors, partners, volunteers, fans, ambassadors and everyone not mentioned here but involved: together we form the foundation, together we share and strengthen the passion, together we contribute to the realization of a beautiful and unique project in Costa Rica.

For 2024 we aim for beautiful and important further developments, including hopefully another expansion of the reserve to realize the connection with the Barbilla National Park. But with a little more peace and quiet than in 2023.

Pura Vida

Martin Havik

Chairman Foundation Adopt Rainforest