The Nature Conservancy
Latin America / Caribbean Region
1815 North Lynn Street
Arlington, Virginia 22209
January 24, 1994
Dr. Thomas Ray
ATR Human Information Processing Research Laboratories
2-2 Hikaridai, Seika-cho Soraku-gun
Kyoto 619-02 Japan
Dear Dr. Ray,
In response to our several conversations and exchange of documents, I would like to confirm, in writing, The Nature Conservancy's interest in assisting your Sarapiqui project.
The Conservancy has been working in this part of Costa Rica for over 10 years and it is becoming increasingly clear that the private sector will have to assume much of the burden of protecting forested lands outside the Braulio Carillo National Park complex. Your project, carried out through a local community-based association, seems to provide a model for how this can be done in a systematic and phased approach.
I have just returned from Costa Rica where I was able to visit this site with our local attorney, Robert Wells, and meet with various leaders of the local community. The project does indeed offer an unusual opportunity to involve community residents in helping to plan for the optimal use of the acquired parcels in ways which maximize the conservation and campatible development values of the land.
The Conservancy would be willing to act as a fiscal agent for contributions from donors interested in contributing through a U.S. c(3) tax exempt organization and we would be glad to oversee the purchase of the land targeted for protection.
Such land, once acquired, would be transferred to the non-profit Sarapiqui Association for Forests and Wildlife with appropriate conservation easements or deed restrictions to ensure its protection in perpetuity.
I agree that this project should be executed in stages as sufficient funds are raised to ensure the successful completion of each stage. Donors can select which phase they are interested in supporting and pledge accordingly. They would not have to make the actual contribution until all the funds required for that phase are pledged.
Contributions can be in the form of cash, wire transfers, appreciated securities or even gifts or real estate and life income estates. Each method has its own tax advantages. For example, a donation of stock that has been held for over one year and that has increased in value can be donated without having to pay capital gains taxes. In addition, the charitable contribution deduction is equal to the full market value of the stock and may be taken over a six year period if a donor's annual maximum limit has been attained. Please let me know if you require detailed information on any of these approaches.
Once a donor decides to contribute, they should send me a letter stating the amount of their pledge, and the method of payment they prefer (cash, wire, appreciated securities etc.). The letter should state that the donation is for the ``Sarapiquí'' project, and if they desire, should specify earmarking (either positive or negative) for specific stages of the project. When the pledges reach the required target level, I will then contact the donor with a letter calling in the pledge, and giving specific instructions for their chosen method of payment.
I hope this covers the basic points. I look forward to working with you and our Costa Rican attorney in helping to put this important project together.
Randall K. Curtis
Conservation Finance and
Costa Rica Country Programs