Rainforest Alliance Gives Grassroots Groups an Internet Presence

The Association of Forest Producers (ASOPROFOR for its name in Spanish) in Villa Mills, Costa Rica, is a grassroots group dedicated not only to improving the economic well being of local residents but also to conserving the delicate, 6,000 foot-high ecosystem of Macizo de la Muerte. The nonprofit group wants to ensure that people living downslope understand the importance of the mountaintop forests above them. They launched an innovative charcoal-production operation, sustainably harvesting timber or fallen logs from the forest and now have alliances with a number of national and international organizations to develop ecotourism and research projects.

Anyone with Internet access can read about ASOPROFOR’s history, goals and projects, because the group now boasts its own bilingual Web site: www.eco-index.org/ong/asoprofor-cr-eng.html (in English) and www.eco-index.org/ong/asoprofor-cr-esp.html (in Spanish). ASOPROFOR is one of some 20 NGOs provided with bilingual, organizational Web pages by the Rainforest Alliance, thanks to an initial grant from Fundación CR-USA and ongoing support from the Overbrook Foundation. The Web pages include information about when the group was founded, its membership and volunteers, mission, funders, and brief descriptions of its principal projects. The projects are linked to full profiles in the Eco-Index (www.eco-index.org).

“It can be expensive, in terms of time and money, to create and maintain a Web page,” explains Nuria Bolaños, an editor with the Eco-Index, which is a service of the Rainforest Alliance. “But now it’s more important than ever to have a presence on the Internet. That’s why we are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to conservation groups that don’t have Web pages, so they also can share information and experiences with the public.”

NGOs interested in a free, bilingual Web page can request a questionnaire via email: eco-index@ra.org

Read more about this project in the Eco-Index:
www.eco-index.org/search/results.cfm?ProjectID=66

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