Model Forests helping businesses promote themselves on the digital landscape

The Model Forest approach brings together a diversity of stakeholders concerned about the sustainable management of the landscape they live in. Often, many of these stakeholders are small and medium enterprises and businesses (SMEs) which operate in, and utilize the resources of, the forest. They know it’s in their best interest, in a world that increasingly values sustainably produced products and services, to take an active role in contributing to their area’s sustainability.
 
A recently launched virtual database of SMEs highlights this by providing information on products and services found in some of the world’s Model Forests. The International Model Forest Network (IMFN) e-directory went live in March 2014 and features SMEs involved in:
 
      organic farm products and other food products such as honey, liquors, jams, preserves;
      small-scale artisanal products such as fashion accessories, beauty products, fabrics;
      natural and holistic medicines;
      eco-tourism services; and,
      sustainably harvested wood products.
 
It currently features products and services from Model Forests located in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras. Organizers see this as something which could grow globally. The e-directory was constructed with the help of the International Model Forest Network Secretariat, the IberoAmerican Model Forest Network and Cuso International, an international development organization and longstanding partner of Model Forests around the world, and is currently available in English and Spanish.
 
While businesses don’t pay to be a part of the e-Directory, there are requirements to participate. All businesses must sustainably manage natural resources; contribute to improving the livelihoods of those in their communities by generating income and jobs; respect the environment, and promote social responsibility.
 
Model Forests are helping business owners achieve on-the-ground sustainability. The e-directory is a free and alternative platform for small and medium enterprises to communicate with potential partners and customers and Model Forests can now promote their small local businesses who are producing goods and services sustainably.
 

Check out the IMFN e-directory at: http://direct.imfn.net