We have opened the ICONS_L mailing list for discussing issues related to the International Conservation Networking System (ICONS), a relational database management system in support of networking on biodiversity and conservation issues, and for information management by indigenous and community-based organizations.

ICONS provides basic structures for the management of bibliographies, organizational and expertise directories, projects and events, laws, geographic areas, species information, Internet resources, indigenous and local communities, data custodians, acronyms and topical discussions and definitions in an encyclopedia. The software also provides a number of look-up tables that can be used to provide authoritative information in the other databases.

This list is intended to serve the community of people and organizations using the ICONS software by providing technical support, and to encourage others to help us improve the software through critical evaluation and positive suggestions. The list can also be used for 
introductions and notices about similar community-based projects, and to propose ways in which the ICONS Project might create partnerships with these efforts. Because the ICONS Project works with local and indigenous  communities and involves data sharing, it raises issues about computer standards, intellectual property law and ethical guidelines for information exchange. These issues also have a place on this list.

We will use the questions posed to this list to construct a set of frequently asked questions (FAQ), which we will make available on the 
ICONS Web site (http://www.iucn.org/icons). Over time, this can provide a knowledge base for answering many of the technical and data exchange issues for ICONS.

The ICONS software is available for free download for non-profit and  Educational activities at:

http://www.iucn.org/icons

To subscribe to the ICONS_L mailing list, send the following request to 

img@indaba.iucn.org:

subscribe Icons_L or join Icons_L

If you ever need to leave the list, send the following request to 

img@indaba.iucn.org:

unsubscribe Icons_L or leave Icons_L

We hope you find the list useful, and we look forward to your active participation!