Ashoka Fellow
Costa Rica
Fellow Since 2008
Ashoka commemorates and celebrates the life and work of this deceased Ashoka Fellow.
This description of Alvaro Francisco Ugalde Víquez's work was prepared when Alvaro Francisco Ugalde Víquez was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
Alvaro Ugalde is an environmental leader who helped establish the Costa Rican national park system. Although the pristine nature of the parks continues to be maintained, the surrounding lands and water systems are deteriorating because of deforestation and exploitive farming, aggressive developers, and changing government policies. Alvaro and the Nectandra Institute are helping adjacent communities in the La Balsa Watershed, to understand the importance of a clean and healthy watershed and to recognize the scarcity of water and the forests that surround rivers, as a challenge of their own. Ecosystem education is empowering local people to take responsibility for the protection and preservation of their drinking and irrigation water. Through projects in restoration and sustainable agriculture and an ecological credit concept called Ecological Loans, Alvaro and his colleagues, are helping the communities, in fomenting a new consciousness about water that can save the world’s watersheds: A new culture of water.
The New Idea
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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