Friends and colleagues,
The environmental crisis caused by fires in the Amazon and other South American forests is still going on. However, this month was a key political opportunity to confront this regional crisis and the great environmental challenges that threaten the planet such as the degradation of nature and biodiversity, and climate change.
In Climate and Energy, the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 had a lasting impact on future decisions for the planet that will be made in 2020. The whole world, especially the millions of young climate activists that marched for urgent climate action, kept a watchful eye on the actions being taken at this summit.
In regional work related to Forests, seven representatives of Amazonian countries signed the Leticia Pact for the Amazon, a political commitment that seeks to provide long-term protection for this biome.
Forest fires continue to spread in Bolivia, putting the region’s biodiversity at risk. WWF-Paraguay is supporting the government in the fight against forest fires in the Chaco and Pantanal, with technical monitoring and management for the donation of equipment. On the other hand, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay carried out a photographic contest about the Pantanal region. In Ecuador, the environmental authority approved the plan presented by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon for the holistic management of forests, wildlife and territories.
With regards to Oceans, WWF-Peru promoted the implementation of fishing nets with LED lights at several of the country’s ports, to avoid the entanglement of turtles and other marine species. In addition, WWF-Chile supported the #LargaVedaALaMerluza campaign and, within its framework, it promoted the extension of the common hake closure, among other measures. WWF-Mexico also announced a 16% reduction in injuries to whale sharks in Baja California thanks to GPS monitoring systems.
In relation to Wildlife, WWF-Colombia highlighted the role of the Colombian Amazon in European media after the launch of the WWF report “Below the Canopy”.
Finally, in Governance, the annual event of the Wildlife Foundation, “Yurumí: talks with the feet on Earth”, was well attended.
Enjoy this new edition,
Vice president & Regional Director
UN General Assembly
UN General Assembly: The beginning of the planet’s most critical year
With the ongoing forest fires around the world, and millions of people participating in climate marches, environmental crises are receiving unprecedented global attention at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.
On September 23, the first night of the Climate Action Summit, WWF held a meeting with world leaders to discuss the environmental emergency the world is facing and called for an Emergency Declaration for Nature and People to be made
WWF invites state and non-state actors to make the Leticia Amazon Pact a reality
WWF recognizes the strong political commitment from the leaders of seven Amazon countries who signed the Leticia Amazon Pact, and invites the signatories to complement the agreement with several strategic actions that are necessary for an effective and impactful implementation. These include valuing the biome’s social and environmental benefits, pledging to zero net deforestation, protecting collective territories, and the pact’s integration through previous instruments under OTCA or Redparques.
Ongoing forest fires in Bolivia put biodiversity at risk
It has been more than 6 weeks since forest fires started, affecting the Amazon, Chiquitano Dry Forest, the Pantanal, the Cerrado and the Chaco ecoregions. More than 1.9 million hectares have burned in the department of Santa Cruz, of which 950,000 hectares correspond to protected areas, putting biodiversity at risk. Fire risk is latent, due to the dry season and strong winds that hinder the work of firemen and military forces that are fighting the flames.
WWF supports the Paraguayan Government to fight wildfires in Chaco and Pantanal
WWF-Paraguay supports the National Government with technical work and daily monitoring to face the wildfires.
The National Emergency Ministry, the entity of the Paraguayan Government that coordinates the actions to deal with fires in areas of the Paraguayan Chaco and Pantanal, received a donation from WWF-Netherlands, which was managed and implemented by WWF-Paraguay and included forest backpacks, security equipment for firefighters and technological tools, such as GPS and drones.
Photography Contest: Areas that Protect Life
The contest was carried out by WWF-Brazil, WWF-Bolivia, and WWF-Paraguay, with the support from the Pantanal Pact and funding from the European Union.
The objective is to spread awareness on the importance of protected areas for the planet, biodiversity and our lives, focusing on the Pantanal ecoregion, which is the largest continental wetland on the planet, covering Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Submissions are open until November 11.
CONFENIAE is approved as an implementation Partner for REDD+
As part of the REDD + Action Plan (Reduction of Deforestation and Degradation Emissions) of Ecuador, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon, CONFENIAE, presented the “Holistic Management of Forests, Biodiversity and Territories in the Amazon Nationalities to combat Climate Change” plan to the Secretary of Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment. The environmental authority approved the plan on August 2nd and included it in the portfolio of Implementation Plans of the REDD+ Action Plan “Forests for Good Living” 2016-2025.
LED lights help reduce the bycatch of marine turtles
It is estimated that between 300 and 600 –and even up to 1,000– leatherback marine turtles are captured incidentally in Peru, Chile and Ecuador annually. Studies in Baja California, Mexico showed that integrating LED lights in fishing nets could reduce marine turtle bycatch by up to 60%. These positive results were confirmed by experiments carried out in Peru by ProDelphinus. WWF joined these efforts in 2016 and promoted the implementation of this technology in various ports within the country.
WWF-Chile asks to extend restrictions on Chilean hake
Restrictions on common Chilean hake are placed in September, due to overexploitation. In addition to making a call to respect the closure, WWF-Chile presented a series of proposals within the framework of its #LargaVedaALaMerluza campaign. One of the main measures is to extend the restriction from one to two months, and a contingency plan that helps to mitigate the economic and social impact of extending this period. WWF-Chile also proposes a gradual end to trawl fishing.
Technology protects the whale shark
Injuries caused by vessels to whale sharks in La Paz Bay in the north of Mexico, have declined 16% since September 2017. This year, the WWF-Telmex Telcel Foundation Alliance implemented a strategy to reduce these incidents, including real-time monitoring with GPS technology on all vessels of sighting service providers. The initiative also includes a tracking and radio protocol to enter and leave the species observation area, a mandatory training and certification program for guides and captains, shadowing by certified guides onboard and a donation program to finance patrols on the water.
The Colombian Amazon made international headlines by launching the 'Below the Canopy’ report
Two of the UK’s most important media outlets highlighted the importance of the Colombian Amazon in their launch of WWF's report 'Below de Canopy'. ITV and The Telegraph highlighted the pressures threatening the Amazon’s biodiversity and WWF's work in the region. This happen within the context of the report that shows how wildlife populations inhabiting forests have been reduced by approximately half (53%) since 1970.
Vida Silvestre Foundation hosts second annual environmental awareness event
Four hundred people attended the second edition of the event “Yurumí: talks with their feet on Earth,” at the Science Cultural Center, in Buenos Aires. The aim was to discuss and exchange ideas on the environmental agenda in an electoral year, as well as the development of new opportunities and to propose ways to preserve natural resources for future generations.
The event, which focused on environmental collectives and upcoming challenges, was attended by members of the public, private and wildlife sectors.