ASCONA was the first nonprofit organization that formed in the country and was made up of 12 chapters and over 5,000 active members nationwide. With the help of university students, professors and volunteers, ASCONA came to be the most important conservation activist group in the country.
In 1996, however, ASCONA was forced to cease operations due to internal disputes among members and directors of the organization, and a very important chapter in the history of Costa Rican environmental activism came to a close.
Ten years later, however, ASCONA reopens its doors in Puerto Jiménez, Osa Peninsula with the goal of protecting natural resources, educating local residents about the importance of environmental responsibility, and promoting artistic and cultural expression. And while ASCONA is now conformed of new members, its objects and goals remain the same, this time with a focus on protecting one of the most biodiverse areas in Costa Rica and the world: the Osa Peninsula.
The Osa Peninsula is one of the most remote regions of the country and only recently has been “discovered” by tourists and tourism operators. And while development in the Osa Peninsula is still fairly small scale, it has the potential to be destroyed by environmental ignorance and destructive development practices.
In order to fight this type of development and protect the Osa Peninsula and its citizen, ASCONA has carried out a number of educational and environmental awareness campaigns, led town meetings and discussions about potential harmful development, and supported citizens of the Osa Peninsula in the fight for the sustainable development of their land.