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Dear friends and colleagues,
A regional conservation vision will ensure the execution of more effective actions to protect our ecosystems in Latin America and the Caribbean. And this month, we have made great progress in this aspect.
Latin America and the Caribbean agreed to promote mechanisms that improve the quality and effectiveness in the management of protected areas after workdays of regional dialogue in the third CAPLAC congress, which took place in Lima, Peru.
Regarding Wildlife, the first regional monitoring of the SARDI initiative, revealed that hydroelectrical production and illegal mining threaten South American river dolphins.
In relation to Oceans, Ecuador began to discuss its new National Action Plan for the Conservation of Sharks.
In Freshwater, for the first time in Peru, Fisheries Policies in the Amazon, which would contribute to the economic well-being and food security of 60% of the Amazonian population, were discussed.
Lastly, regarding Forests, the environmental consequences of fires were assessed: Bolivia counted 3.5 million hectares affected in Santa Cruz, while Paraguay highlighted the damage to protected areas in the Cerrado, Chaco and Pantanal ecoregions, and Brazil reported 5.9 million hectares in the Amazon, Pantanal and Cerrado. On the other hand, Fundación Vida Silvestre celebrated 10 years reforesting the Misiones rainforest. Meanwhile, Mexico announced a 25% drop in forest degradation in Monarch butterfly hibernation sites, compared to the previous year.
Enjoy this new edition,
Vice president & Regional Director
Latin America and the Caribbean
LAC commits to strengthen protected areas systems against the environmental crisis
The 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and numerous civil society organizations issued and supported the Lima Declaration, which recognizes the value of protected and conserved areas in the post-2020 global biodiversity protection strategies and the lines of action to fulfill its commitments, which will lead a path to a New Deal for Nature and People. This occurred at the conclusion of the III Congress of Protected Areas of Latin America and the Caribbean held in Lima.
Hydroelectricity and illegal mining threaten South American river dolphins
SARDI initiative scientists undertook the first regional satellite monitoring of freshwater dolphins in Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia since 2017. Over two years, the research revealed two main threats: hydroelectric projects that isolate dolphin populations and disrupt the migration of their food, and mercury contamination largely caused by illegal mining. Furthermore, it was found that 100% of monitored dolphins were contaminated with mercury.
Progress on the Mesoamerican Reef System climate change analysis
Different activities have been carried out within the framework of the Smart Coasts project in the Mesoamerican Reef System. One of them included two bi-national workshops: the first of them in the city of Mérida in Yucatan, Mexico, and the second one in Puerto Cortes, Honduras. The purpose was to gather all the key stakeholders who participate in the project, to socialize and to receive feedback on the results of the climate change analysis and the ecosystem services analysis.
Ecuador begins analyzing new National Shark Conservation Action Plan
The Government, the fisheries sector, the academia and NGOs began to discuss the new National Shark Conservation Action Plan. This way, the country starts a stage in which it’ll update its planning through 2023, delving into the problems and solutions to guide the actions of shark conservation and management. The authorities anticipate that Ecuador will have a new Action Plan before the end of 2019.
Sustainable fishery management contributes to Amazonian well-being
For the first time, the Forum for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture discussed the Amazon situation, focusing on the development of Fisheries Policies in the Amazon and its challenges in Ucayali, Loreto, Amazonas, and San Martín. The priorities were food security, participatory management mechanisms, and the need to evaluate the complementarity of the rivers and forests of the Amazon. On the other hand, the main challenges include achieving the sustainable use of water sources, local development, and food security, under an approach that is compatible with the conservation of the ecosystem.
3.5 million hectares affected by forest fires in Santa Cruz, Bolivia
At the national level, 5 million hectares were affected by forest fires, of which 3.5 million correspond to the Department of Santa Cruz, the most affected one. 1.3 million of these hectares correspond to protected areas, 2.2 million to forests and more than 1 million to grasslands. It is estimated that at least 2,413 species of fauna could be at risk due to habitat loss from the fires.
The consequences of wildfires in Paraguayan protected areas
Important areas of the Cerrado, Chaco and Pantanal eco-regions, located in the Department of Alto Paraguay, were severely affected during the persistent wildfire season, which Paraguay faced since mid-August.
The fires in the northern part of the country were aggravated by adverse weather conditions (high temperatures, winds over 20 km per hour and low humidity), affecting around 325,000 hectares, mainly in the areas of the Cerro Chovoreca Natural Monument and the Río Negro National Park.
Fundación Vida Silvestre celebrates 10 years of Misiones rainforest reforestation
During September, more than 5,000 native forest species were planted on 15 hectares of Misiones rainforest, with the support of students from the National University of Misiones, the Family Agricultural School, rangers, neighbors and proprietaries in the San Sebastián de la Selva Private Reserve.
These new specimens were added to the more than 120,000 seedlings that Fundación Vida Silvestre has planted in the last 10 years, reforesting more than 225 hectares of rainforest in Misiones. They expect to reforest another 60 hectares in the coming months.
Forest degradation decreases by 25.4% in the Monarca Reserve
The WWF-TELMEX Telcel Foundation Alliance, UNAM, CONANP and local communities came together to announce that forest degradation in the Monarch butterfly hibernation sites in Mexico was reduced by 25% in the 2018-2019 season, compared to the previous year.
Clandestine logging decreased from 1.43 to only 0.43 hectares, while losses from sanitation dropped from 1.35 to 0.38 hectares in the same period. The main causes of degradation were drought and the fall of trees, affecting 4.19 hectares, with a slight increase from the previous year’s 3.93 hectares.