Fellow Since 1994
This profile was prepared when Juan José Oña was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1994.
The New Idea
Juan José Oña is spearheading the emergence of environmental protection in Uruguay. His multimedia BioBank project engages a diverse range of previously apathetic citizens, young and old, in the task of documenting native flora and fauna. The BioBank itself becomes an important tool for many public and private efforts to protect the environment. His training for community groups to use modern audio-visual technology also stimulates them to initiate projects for the more harmonious use of natural resources. Thus, Juan José is meeting the needs of the budding Uruguayan ecology movement and the general public and is encouraging and helping students, teachers, government officials and community groups and leaders to take an active part in documenting and preserving Uruguay's environment.