We are the Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, or FCER*, a non-profit organization with a mission to promote a sustainable world by inspiring children and adults to take action to protect, support and expand the Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Monteverde, Costa Rica – a resource of unparalleled biodiversity worldwide.
*FCER was formerly known as the Monteverde Conservation League, U.S. (MCLUS).
Letter from the President:
Last year began with a slowly recovering global economy and some glimmers of hope for the non-profit sector…things were beginning to look up! With this renewed hope in the economy, we could once again focus on our mission, and on our long-term sustainability.
During 2011, the Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest continued to support the land purchase, land protection, and environmental education programs of the Monteverde Conservation League (MCL) in Costa Rica, while continuing to raise conservation awareness here in the U.S. and build our own internal capacity.
We focused our capacity building efforts in these areas:
- Board of Directors: We added eight new board members with a diversity of experience and expertise that will continue to benefit our organization and the Children’s Eternal Rainforest for years to come.
- Marketing and Outreach: We began our re-branding work, which is evident today in our new website and blog. We also began work on our first annual Conservation Awareness and Fundraising Forum with Dr. Peter Raven, which was held at the Saint Louis Zoo in April of this year.
- Finance: We implemented standard accounting procedures to improve our financial transparency and accountability.
Because of your support of the Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, we have strengthened our capacity and are now more efficient and effective in carrying out our mission.
Thank you for helping us protect the Rainforest!
Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest
World-renowned conservationist Dr. Peter Raven – Board Member of the Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest and named a “Hero of the Planet” by Time Magazine – has called on all of us to support the Children’s Eternal Rainforest for these compelling reasons:
- The problem with unchecked destruction of rainforest ecosystems is that “we don’t even understand what we’re losing”- many of the medicinal, planetary and other benefits of rainforests have yet to be discovered.
- The Children’s Eternal Rainforest is a trusted and time-tested conservation project. It has been established for more than 25 years and is located in a politically and economically stable country – Costa Rica.
- This forest is unique among rainforests because it links two continents, bridges the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, and straddles the Continental Divide – factors that create unparalleled biodiversity and provide protection to animals like the magnificent but endangered Jaguar and the beloved Red-eyed tree frog.
- The Children’s Eternal Rainforest is an important migratory corridor for 91 species of North American birds, such as the Baltimore oriole that you might see in your backyard. If these birds cannot migrate, they will not survive.
- This rainforest is an essential watershed, increasingly important for the world’s fresh water supply. It creates the clouds that water our crops and keep our planet cool.
Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest supports the goal of MCL to purchase land to strategically increase the size of the Rainforest.
Priorities include purchasing land to preserve habitat for the many wondrous, varied species within the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, creating biological corridors down the Pacific slope, and creating a defensible boundary on the Atlantic side.
In 2011, FCER gave an additional $34,900 toward purchase of the 252 acre Pipe Cruz farm. The final payment of $115,100 will be made in late 2012 or early 2013 to complete the purchase of this prime piece of land that is a critical habitat for the endangered Three-wattled bellbird.
Last year, FCER also contributed $32,500 to the next land purchase, as MCL has identified several strategic pieces that are important to preserving this Rainforest, and maintaining the watershed that provides fresh drinking water to thousands of people downstream.
Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest supports the goal of MCL to protect the Rainforest and its inhabitants.
Guards are employed to protect against the constant pressures of hunting, poaching, and illegal lumbering. Maintenance crews are also needed to clean the hundreds of miles of trails and property boundaries, as well as for road, sign and infrastructure maintenance. Both guards and maintenance crews also contribute to MCL’s protection program, environmental education and special hikes organized for visitors to the Rainforest. They give significant scientific support by monitoring the Green-eyed frog and Hyla Tica frog populations.
In 2011, FCER was able to provide $26,000 for the salaries of two guards – one third of the forest’s protection force. The importance of this land protection is evident today in the rebounding populations of the Green-eyed frog, once thought to have gone extinct in Costa Rica.
Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest supports the goal of MCL to provide environmental education programs to gain the support of local communities, and to increase the use of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest as a global educational resource. FCER also works to raise conservation awareness here in the U.S.
Education is a priority in and around the Children’s Eternal Rainforest for several reasons. First, it is an unparalleled educational resource; second, the long-term protection of this rainforest depends in part on the understanding and support of local communities; and third, fees paid by tourists and many of the student groups are an important source of income that is fundamental to its long-term financial sustainability.
In 2011, FCER led four successful eco-trips to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, including a new eco-tour to the Pocosol field station located on the Atlantic slope in the Tilarán mountain range. These trips are important because they bring needed revenue to MCL and educate people about the rainforest.
FCER also raises conservation awareness in the U.S. through presentations and other outreach activities. In 2011, FCER partnered with Whole Foods Market, New Chapter and NBO Shoes to promote the Children’s Eternal Rainforest to their customers and employees. These campaigns were highly successful – educating people about the Rainforest and contributing funds to its protection.
Board of Directors:
SECRETARY AND SCIENCE/ TRAVEL DIRECTOR
Kim Soltis Hammer
Dr. Thomas Lovejoy
Dr. Julia Matamoros
Dr. Peter Raven
Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest
242 Old Sulphur Spring Road
Ballwin, MO 63021 USA