Friends and colleagues,
We start this year with great announcements for conservation and also with news that provide a complex and worrying panorama. This 2022 let's work together with nature and build a fair, resilient and sustainable future for all. Here are the highlights of our work in December and January:
With regard to Oceans, WWF-Ecuador emitted a statement about the new Marine Protected Area, named "Hermandad Marine Reserve" in Galapagos, whose creation marks a big step towards achieving the common goal of moving towards the protection of 30% of our planet's ocean by 2030. On the other hand, WWF-Peru expressed its deep concern for the oil spill in the coastal region of Ventanilla. And in Mexico, December 2021 marked the end of the first phase of WWF’s ghost gear retrieval program in Bahia Banderas.
In Freshwater, WWF-Colombia and several allies carried out the Guainía 2021 Expedition, a journey of about 135 km along the Guainía River, in the easternmost tip of Colombia. Further, thirteen regions of the Peruvian Amazon basin got together to establish the route to a healthy river and sustainable fishing.
In relation to the Forests practice, more than 500 Colombians ran to support tree planting in the country. For its part, in Brazil, the annual deforestation of the Cerrado reached the highest numbers since 2016.
Regarding the practice of Wildlife, WWF-Paraguay carried out "Semana con Más Garra", a week on the conservation of the jaguar. In addition, Fundación Vida Silvestre shared the 2021 statistics of the citizen science platform ArgentiNat.
Regarding Governance, young Brazilians mobilized against the attacks on the Resex Chico Mendes, a symbol of the environmental fight in Brazil.
In Climate & Energy, an ecosystem-based adaptation initiative on cattle ranches developed by WWF-Mexico was selected as one of the seven global projects by the Global Fund for Ecosystem-Based Adaptation at the end of 2021.
Lastly, our work in Education, WWF-Ecuador closed the training process “Education for community projects of sustainable development”. And, in Bolivia, with the support of WWF, the Pipiripi Museum opened three new rooms, consolidating itself as a space for environmental education.
Enjoy this new edition,
Vice President and Regional Director
New Marine Protected Area in Galapagos
Galapagos became the first Natural Heritage of Humanity through a UNESCO declaration in 1978. Recently, the world celebrated the creation of the new protected marine area, the Hermandad Marine Reserve of 60,000 km², which adds up to the 138,000 km² already existing.
WWF has contributed to the conservation of Galapagos since 1962 and now reiterates its commitment to the country and expressed its support for the goals that the national government has set to ensure the protection, management, and sustainability of this new protected area over time. Read the WWF Ecuador statement on the challenges and opportunities of this new protected area.
WWF-Peru expresses concern over Ventanilla Oil Spill
WWF-Peru expressed its deep concern about the serious environmental consequences generated by the oil spill that occurred in the facilities of Terminal No. 2 of the La Pampilla Refinery S.A.A. (Repsol Peru) in the district of Ventanilla, in Lima. As a result, the marine ecosystems surrounding 20 beaches have been affected, including Cavero, Bahía Blanca, Santa Rosa and Ancón, as well as the biodiversity of the Sistema de Islas National Reserve, Islets and Puntas Guaneras, Islets de Pescadores and the Reserved Zone of Ancón. This disaster has caused devastating effects on species and ecosystems with irreversible consequences for food security and traditional economic activities, such as fishing, on which many coastal communities depend.
Initiative promotes the retrieval of ghost nets in Bahía de Banderas
WWF-Mexico finalized its first phase of the pilot project for the removal of fishing gear in Bahía de Banderas, Nayarit, with the aim of cleaning the area of this type of waste and thereby benefiting the fishing community and the local species, including humpback whales, giant manta rays, dolphins, turtles and seabirds, migratory and continental. The pilot project was carried out in cooperation with NGOs and local government agencies. The project added the training and certification of 35 people who participated as part of their training in the removal of ghost nets in waters adjacent to the Islas Marietas National Park.
Guainia Expedition 2021: studying an unexplored area of Colombia
In October, along with several allies, we carried out ‘Guainia Expedition 2021’: a journey of about 135 km throughout the Guainia River, in the easternmost tip of Colombia to obtain scientific data on different species, estimate the abundance of river dolphins, do a sociocultural analysis, and evaluate mercury contamination in fish for human consumption and in bats. Twenty-seven scientists and four indigenous communities participated in the work. Preliminary data reveal that within the registered species a new species of fish was found for science, a species of marsupial that represents a new record for Colombia, a new genus, and three new species of plants for science. The team also took tissue samples from 80 fish and 20 bats to study the presence of mercury and managed to register 36 adult dolphins and two baby pink dolphins (Inia geoffrensis). This trip is part of the efforts of the South American River Dolphin Initiative (SARDI), which has made it possible to collect scientific data in the waters of the Amazon and Orinoquia to contribute to the knowledge and conservation of these cetaceans.
More than 500 Colombians ran to support tree planting in the country
On December 18, the first version of the 'Trees For My Country' race was held, an event organized by WWF and the Jaime Duque Park Foundation, in which, through sport, more than 500 people of all ages, WWF donors, and family groups, contributed to the planting of trees in Colombia through sports. With the registration fee to participate on this event, the runners contributed to the campaign 'One million trees for my country', an initiative of the Jaime Duque Park Foundation with its Ecoparque Sabana Nature Reserve, which seeks to plant one million trees through reforestation actions in eleven municipalities of the country. Additionally, at the end of the race, each participant planted a tree in this reserve, where, so far, around 160,000 plants have been planted.
Annual deforestation in the Cerrado is the highest since 2016
On the last day of 2021, INPE (National Institute for Space Research) released the Cerrado, the largest tropical savanna region in the world located on the south side of the Brazilian Amazon, deforestation figures between August 2020 and July 2021: 8,531 km². Prodes, which is the Brazilian system that tracks destruction, is the annual official deforestation rate in Brazil.
WWF’s week for jaguar conservation
From November 22 to 29, this WWF-Paraguay initiative was developed with the support of A Todo Pulmón as part of the #ParaguayMásJaguareté campaign. The objective was to raise awareness about the importance of the conservation of this species. It was held within the framework of the International Day of the Jaguar.
The activities carried out included the presentation of stamps with exclusive Jaguareté designs, a joint action with the National Post Office of Paraguay; publications of testimonial stories about encounters that several people had with this majestic feline, as well as the exhibition of 18 jaguar sculptures in front of the National Congress and the creation of an artistic mural.
Numbers of 2021 in ArgentiNat
It’s been two years since the launch of ArgentiNat.org, the node for Argentina of iNaturalist, one of the most important citizen science platforms in the world, and the country's 2021 statistics were recently released. Argentines registered over 200,000 observations were achieved and more than 9,600 species were observed and identified. Vida Silvestre promoted this initiative in Argentina with the aim that more people connect with nature through technology, building a collective knowledge through the participation of the community.
Young people mobilized against attacks on the Resex Chico Mendes, symbol of the environmental fight
A group of local leaders formed the Youth Nucleus of the Chico Mendes Committee, which, inspired by the legacy of the ecologist murdered in 1988, works to reverse both the devastation and invasions of the Extractive reserve and the exodus of the extractivists, pressured by the expansion of cattle ranching. Extractive reserves are areas used by traditional extractive populations who depend on extraction for their livelihoods.
Global EbA Fund Project
In late 2021, the Global Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Fund approved a WWF-Mexico project to replicate and scale an Ecosystem-Based Adaptation approach on cattle ranches in Coahuila, northeastern Mexico. The project seeks to strengthen the meat supply chain in the region and will work with small livestock producers to strengthen their capacities to adapt to the impacts that climate change is generating in their productive activity. This will be achieved hand in hand with partners and decision makers in order to integrate the ecosystem-based adaptation approach into public policy instruments at the local and regional level. This initiative is part of the first cohort of only seven projects globally that will be supported by this fund and was selected from more than 270 applications from 50 countries.
Closure of an environmental education process for sustainable development
WWF-Ecuador closed the training process "Education for community projects of sustainable development" within the framework of the Program Conservation and Sustainable Use of Natural Heritage - Bioeconomy, implemented by GIZ-Ecuador and the Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition. As part of the closing event, a presentation of educational projects was made and the recreational material developed throughout the training program by the participants was exhibited.
The Pipiripi Museum consolidates its position as a space for environmental education
With three new areas aimed at generating knowledge and valuing biodiversity and nature, the Pipiripi Memory and Future Interactive Space, with the support of WWF and the Embassy of Sweden in Bolivia, has become one of the most important spaces in the city of La Paz to promote and strengthen environmental education.
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