Friends and colleagues,
2019 was filled with important regional achievements as a result of local initiatives and joint work. Yet, serious crisis also took place, such as the fires in the Amazon, Chiquitania and other South American ecosystems. In addition, global climate ambition suffered a setback at COP25 with resolutions that do not meet the urgency required to tackle the crisis we are facing. Our priority this year is to continue working for the planet and come together as a region to promote a New Deal for Nature and People.
In Climate and Energy, we highlighted the leadership of several Latin American countries at COP25, as well as their proposals, announcements and relevant commitments for the region and the world.
In work related to Oceans, WWF-Peru and its recycling partner received a National Environmental Award for their circular economy project for fishing nets. Meanwhile, Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina presented the results for the fourth Coastal Litter Census in the province of Buenos Aires.
With regards to Freshwater, African offices came to Mexico to learn more about water management models. On the other side, WWF-Mesoamerica bet on a cleaner production and recognized the companies that implemented actions to conserve watersheds. In addition, an indigenous community of the Caquetá River Basin, in the Colombian Amazon, studied threatened fish species.
In Forests, Peru launched the initiative “10 million urban trees by 2021” with the support of mayors and civil society. And Colombia now has three new protected areas, which were declared with the support of WWF.
In relation to Wildlife, the native amphibians of La Paz became the conservation priority for the Participatory Conservation project, supported by WWF-Bolivia. On the same note, Fundación Vida Silvestre announced an increase in the jaguar population in the Atlantic Forest.
Regarding Governance, in Bolivia, the Tarija Urban Bio Park was declared a Municipal Protected Area. In addition, young scouts were trained in leadership with support from WWF-Paraguay.
Finally, in Markets, Ecuadorian bananas were positioned in the German market thanks to sustainable practices. And the shrimp industry in Belize continued making progress in its recovery after an outbreak of EMS, to secure its achievements in sustainability.
Enjoy this edition,
Vice president & Regional Director
Latin America announcements and commitments at COP25
Despite the lack of ambition and political will from the largest polluters (with the exception of the European Union) and the lack of solid agreements on the key issues on the agenda, WWF supported the leadership of several Latin American countries during COP25, which is reflected in the development of proposals, announcements and commitments relevant to the region and the world. These include the Declaration of San José, nature-based solutions, the role of indigenous people, among others.
WWF received National Environmental Award Antonio Brack Egg 2019
The Antonio Brack Egg National Environmental Prize is the highest recognition that the State gives to initiatives for good environmental practices that contribute to improve natural resource management, ecosystem protection and solutions for environmental problems. During this edition, WWF and Bureo, a large recycling company, won in the Clean Peru category, in the “Solid waste management” mention, with the project “REDCICLA: creating a circular economy model for abandoned, lost or discarded fishing nets in Peru with artisanal fishers and industrial companies.”
Fourth Coastal Litter Census in the province of Buenos Aires
During the last months of 2019, the 4th edition of the Census of Marine Coastal Litter took place. It was organized by Fundación Vida Silvestre and other coastal NGOs, with the collaboration of more than 750 volunteers in 20 localities. A total of 71,848 residues were registered in the 88 hectares covered by the census; from these, more than 80% were plastic waste. Unlike the previous editions, cigarette butts took the first place in this census.
African offices come to Mexico to learn more about water management models
WWF-Mexico received colleagues from WWF-Kenya and WWF-Tanzania for three days to share knowledge and experiences with water management models. WWF-Mexico technicians presented its comprehensive approaches in the estimation of flows and shared methodological suggestions of African technicians. The three teams disaggregated their strategies to work with various actors in the implementation of ecological flows. This technical exchange also served to identify synergies in the work of the different offices to explore the possibility of future collaborations.
Cleaner production to conserve watersheds
WWF-Mesoamerica and the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD), recognized companies that have implemented cleaner production practices for a better management of nearby watersheds. The companies received technical assistance through the project “Alliance between Cleaner Production and Private Sector,” led by WWF-Mesoamerica.
Amazonian community studies threatened fish species
With WWF-Colombia's support, indigenous fishermen who live by the Caquetá river basin, in the Colombian Amazon, carried out a research project on the fish in their territory, mainly about threatened species that hold high economic, cultural and nutritional importance. Among the findings, they realized how catfish, known locally as lechero and dorado, have been showing a decrease in their populations. Monitoring in this region is a governance strategy on fishery resources, that goes together with a parallel development of pedagogical strategies led by communities.
Peru launches the “10 million urban trees by 2021” initiative
The initiative aims to promote green cities in Peru and has the commitment of civil society and mayors from Lima and other cities within the country. The actors are convinced of the multiple environmental benefits offered by the increase in urban trees such as air purification, temperature reduction, the expansion of green areas for recreation, mitigation of climate change, among others.
Colombia establishes three new protected areas
These three new protected areas are strategic to maintain regional ecosystems connectivity, as well as conserving biomes as important as the Andean montane forests and the tropical dry forest. These Regional Districts were declared with the support of WWF-Colombia and have a total extension of 26,189 hectares, located in the departments of Boyacá, Norte de Santander and Antioquia. In addition to contributing to the consolidation of the National System of Protected Areas (SINAP) in Colombia, these areas are an important step for fulfilling international conservation commitments, such as Aichi Biodiversity Targets, specifically Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Participatory Conservation: preserving native amphibians in La Paz
The Participatory Conservation citizen project, which is part of the Biodiverse La Paz initiative, aims to restore an ecosystem for conserving native amphibians of the La Paz valley through participatory activities related to ecological restoration, training in environmental issues and artistic expression as a tool for awareness.
Participatory Conservation is one of the beneficiaries of WWF´s “Urban Solutions with Citizen Action” project, with the support of the Swedish Embassy in Bolivia.
The jaguar population in the Atlantic Forest increases
Fundación Vida Silvestre announced an increase in the population of jaguars in the Alto Paraná Atlantic Forest. Between 84 and 125 individuals were estimated, a value that ranged between 30 and 54 individuals in the first estimate of 2005.
This new research demonstrates a growing trend in the population of jaguars, as a result of more than 16 years of cooperation between Fundación Vida Silvestre and the Proyecto Yaguareté. The objective of the Action Plan for the conservation of this species on the Misiones Green Corridor is to reach a stable population of 250 jaguars within the region.
The Tarija Urban Bio Park was declared a Municipal Protected Area
With the aim of protecting natural spaces within the city of Tarija, the city council approved the law that declares this site as a Municipal Protected Area. This park plays an important role as a lung for the city and a reserve for native flora and fauna species of the department of Tarija. In addition, it is a space for aquifer recharge, which ensures the availability of water resources for the city, whose main supply comes from underground wells. WWF, with the support of the Swedish Cooperation, works in this area and will gather valuable scientific information for its management.
Paraguay Leadership Training (ELPA)
The Paraguayan Scout Association, with the support of WWF-Paraguay, carried out a leadership training for young leaders, with the aim of providing them with the tools to guide projects with significant social impacts.
About 25 young people attended this training. There, Oscar Rodas, Climate Change and Policy Director for WWF, shared the current reality of climate change with the participants.
Sustainable banana production in Ecuador
Banana is one of the most popular fruits in Germany and one of the most important crops in Ecuador, but its production methods are usually harmful to people, animals and the environment. Since 2014, WWF and EDEKA, one of the most important supermarkets in Germany, work together on 22 banana farms to make traditional banana cultivation more sustainable, in the environmental and social fields.
Recovering the sustainable shrimp industry in Belize
After an outbreak of EMS or Early Mortality Syndrome in its shrimp industry, Belize struggles to ensure the sustainability and conservation targets are reached. In this regard, Dr. Ignacio de Blas, an epidemiologist specialized in aquatic animal health at the University of Zaragoza, held two workshops on Epidemiology and Biosecurity with the participation of the technical staff of the 14 shrimp farms in the country.