The Eco-Index, an online database of conservation projects in the Americas created by the Rainforest Alliance, now features more than 1,000 projects in English and Spanish. The site also recently started including projects in the United States and Canada, making it the premiere vehicle for the conservation community to share information about initiatives in the Americas.
“As the number of projects to conserve tropical ecosystems continues to grow and the pinch on our natural resources tightens, it is crucial to share information and learn from each others’ lessons,” said Diane Jukofsky, Director of Communications, Marketing and Education at the Rainforest Alliance. “Researchers in the Americas can use the Eco-Index to learn from others who have worked on similar projects and avoid duplicating efforts and missteps.”
The Eco-Index has grown steadily since it was launched in January 2001 with 70 projects. Now, the site’s more than 1,000 projects represent the work of more than 700 non-governmental organizations, research institutions, and government ministries in the Americas. Project profiles feature contact information, summary, objectives, funders, budget, accomplishments, lessons learned, evaluation methodology, links, and reports.
“The Eco-Index is different from other information-sharing initiatives in the region, as it goes beyond listing hard data. In addition to reports and publications, the Eco-Index comprehensively describes valuable information about project methodologies, lessons learned and conclusions.” explained Melissa Krenke, Eco-Index project manager. “Non-science based projects, such as those managed by community organizations, are also developing creative conservation approaches. We believe it is just as important to share information about these innovative and effective projects as it is to share hard numbers.”
The Eco-Index is also home to the Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative (WHMSI) Pathway, a clearinghouse of information about migratory species conservation in the Americas; and the Eco-Index of Sustainable Tourism, a searchable database of sustainable tourism operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Eco-Index is sponsored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service; the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund; the Inter-American Development Bank; the Spray Foundation; and the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Program of Costa Rica.
Learn more about becoming an Eco-Index sponsor.