WWF honours Bolivia for designation of world’s largest protected wetland | WWF

WWF honours Bolivia for designation of world’s largest protected wetland

Posted on 03 February 2014    
Palms on Lake Rogaguado, Bolivia
© WWF-Bolivia / Omar Rocha
Global conservation organization WWF has recognized the Bolivian government’s commitment to nature conservation for designating a 6.9 million-hectare area of protected wetlands in the Llanos de Moxos (Moxos Plains), a tropical ecoregion of northern Bolivia in the lowlands of the Amazon basin, with a WWF Gift to the Earth Award.

Under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an intergovernmental treaty for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources, Llanos de Moxos is now the largest area of Wetlands of International Importance in the world.

Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International, today presented representatives of the government of Bolivia with a WWF Gift to the Earth, the global conservation organization’s most prestigious award.

“It gives me great pride and pleasure to confer on the Bolivian government WWF’s highest honour, the Gift to the Earth. This award recognizes Bolivia’s outstanding conservation vision and leadership. The Llanos de Moxos is a richly diverse and expansive wetland area, and it is truly a gift to the planet to have this unique place protected,” said Yolanda Kakabadse.

In total, Bolivia has committed to designate 15 million hectares of its wetland area as Ramsar sites, demonstrating the government’s political support for freshwater conservation – while contributing significantly to the conservation of the wider Amazon basin.

“WWF recognizes Bolivia as a conservation leader for its pledge to ensure the conservation and wise use of its freshwater resources, clearly stated also in the country’s laudable environmental policies,” said Luís Pabon, Director of WWF-Bolivia. “There will be challenges ahead but we stand ready to support the Bolivian government in taking the next steps necessary to honour their bold commitment.”

The WWF Gift to the Earth ceremony took place on Monday 3 February at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Bolivian administrative capital La Paz, also commemorating World Wetlands Day, on Sunday 2 February.

For further information or to interview a WWF expert contact:

Analiz Montaño, WWF-Bolivia, amontano@wwfbolivia.org, +591 242 6248
Denise Oliveira, WWF Living Amazon Initiative, doliveira@wwf.org.br, +55 61 8175 2695
Gemma Parkes, WWF International, gparkes@wwfint.org, +41 79 253 6386

Notes to editor:

- WWF has been supporting projects in Bolivia since 1970. In 1993 it established an office in Santa Cruz de la Sierra which supports and directs its conservation work in the Pantanal and the Amazon. The office in La Paz was opened in 2011. The objective of WWF-Bolivia is to contribute to the conservation and sustainable development of the Amazon and the Pantanal, and to promote and generate sustainable economic opportunities for local people.

- A Gift to the Earth is a WWF’s highest accolade, awarded in recognition of conservation action by a government, company, organization or Individual which is both a demonstration of environmental leadership and a globally significant contribution to the protection of the natural world.

Palms on Lake Rogaguado, Bolivia
© WWF-Bolivia / Omar Rocha Enlarge

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