Dear friends and colleagues,
Water and oceans were the protagonists of this month, in addition to other conservation achievements. In the Gulf of California, WWF reiterated its conviction to save the vaquita, the "panda of the sea". In Belize, a new species of hammerhead shark was discovered. WWF Guatemala / Mesoamerica started a project to promote the actions to face climate change in committed Guatemalan municipalities. Bogota, Cali and Medellin joined WWF's Earth Hour in Colombia. In Ecuador, the design of the National Action Plan for the industrial tuna fisheries is on its way, thanks to a project by WWF and three companies. WWF supported the agricultural education of about thirty students in Brazil. In Bolivia, the San Matias Integrated Management Natural Area and WWF-Bolivia developed the first management plan for the sustainable use of the yacare caiman. WWF-Paraguay and other entities prepared several events for the "Wetlands Month". At the global level, WWF expressed its concern about the ability of short-term agreements to limit tuna fishing in the Eastern Pacific. Finally, WWF celebrated the greatest successes of the past year on World Wildlife Day. Enjoy the reading,
Vice president y Regional Director, WWF-LAC
Last Call for Vaquita, the Mexican “Panda of the Sea”"
The International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) announced last week that it is estimated that only 30 vaquitas survive, compared to 60 individuals last year.WWF reaffirms its conviction that the only way to save the vaquita from extinction is for the Mexican government to immediately and indefinitely ban all fisheries within its habitat and ensure full and effective enforcement.
Discovery of new shark species highlights need to protect Belize waters
International University (FIU) confirmed the presence of a new shark species belonging to the bonnetheads type in waters off the coast of Belize last week.
Guatemalan municipalities are committed to be more sustainable.
In Guatemala, at least five municipalities have expressed their interest in taking actions against climate change. WWF Guatemala /Mesoamerica has begun a Project to promote these actions and provide technical assistance to municipalities. Some of them have already signed agreements to strengthen their sustainability plans. As part of this support, two workshops have been carried out, one of them with the Municipal Promotion Institute. Furthermore, a public call has been launched for all municipalities interested in participating in WWF’s City Challenge.
EH 2017 is Riding the Change in Colombia
This year, Bogotá, Cali and Medellín have joined the global WWF campaign with the Móntate en el cambio (Ride the Change) campaign. The cities are promoting the bicycle as a sustainable means of transport. The campaign invites people to join by voting both for a city and a university www.montateenelcambio.com
The National Plan of Action for the sustainable management of the industrial fishery for the Ecuadorian Tuna is on its way
The sustainability of fishing has become a major element in the demand of international markets. That is why WWF-Ecuador, together with three of the country's most important tuna companies, are implementing a Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP), which aims to help the fishery meet the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) sustainability standard. As a result of the implementation of the tuna FIP, last February 23, a workshop was held to initiate the participatory process to design the National Plan of Action for the sustainable management of the industrial fishery for the Ecuadorian Tuna (Tuna NPOA).
WWF-Brazil supports rural education
Thanks to the support of WWF-Brasil and its partners, 33 students living in the rural area of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, mostly children of small farmers, finished the agricultural course. After closing the course, the young people are aware that it is possible to work the land in a sustainable way and stay in the countryside instead of migrating to the cities. For Kolbe Soares, conservation analyst of the WWF-Brazil Cerrado Pantanal Program, this teaching system is perfectly suited to the reality of the region, where family farming is very traditional. "The school allows the young person to maintain a bond with his family and also with the community".
Balancing conservation and sustainable use
In collaboration with WWF Bolivia, the San Matias Integrated Management Natural Area (ANMI) developed the first management plan for the sustainable use of yacare caiman within the largest protected area of the Great Pantanal. The objective is to stop illegal hunting and preserve the species while contributing to improve livelihood security of communities settled within and around protected area.
Paraguay organizes “Wetlands Month” to promote the importance of these ecosystems
WWF Paraguay and Guyra Paraguay, with the support of other public and private organizations, prepared various events to promote the importance of wetlands in our country. The activities were: a symposium at the Sociedad Cientifica del Paraguay; a 12k bike ride in the Department of Cordillera; a photography and observational bike watching hike of the Río Salado, lead by experts from Guyra and the group Taguató; the unveiling of the book “Reptiles of Paraguay” written by Pier Cacciali, Norman J. Scott, Aida Luz Aquino Ortíz, Lee A. Fitzgerald, and Paul Smith.
WWF expresses concern about the ability of short-term agreements to successfully limit tuna fishing in eastern Pacific
(IATTC), member countries have reached consensus on a conservation measure for tropical tunas in the eastern Pacific. The agreement only covers this year and comes with real questions about whether it will be successful in limiting pressure on several populations of tuna that scientists warn are being fished unsustainably.
WWF celebrates the greatest successes of the last year on World Wildlife Day
Today marks the third anniversary of World Wildlife Day, a day dedicated to celebrate the precious animals and plant life that share our planet. WWF is taking this opportunity to reflect on the five greatest successes for wildlife over the last year
1. Wild tiger numbers increase for the first time in conservation history
2. Pandas are no longer classified as ‘endangered’
3. All trade in the world’s most trafficked mammal, the pangolin, is now illegal
4. Saving World Heritage sites – home to iconic species including elephants, rhinos dolphins and marine turtles
5. China, home to the world’s largest legal ivory trade market announces closure by end of 2017