It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and colleague, María Amalia Porta, passed away on Sunday, March 5th.
Maria Amalia served as WWF-Mesoamerica's Director of Conservation for 14 years, and contributed to conservation work with the highest scientific standards and great ambition. Maria Amalia's work and legacy as a friend and colleague will always be part of our memory at WWF.
We express our sincere support to her family, friends and colleagues at WWF-Mesoamerica at this difficult time.
Dear friends and colleagues,
In February, we continued the work in Latin America for the protection of nature. This month brought some important news, highlighting the efforts and new alliances for the conservation of our planet.
In Forests, WWF-Bolivia partnered with WWF-Finland to launch "Greetings from the Amazon", a story including WWF-Bolivia’s Marcela Añez. She discussed her experience based on the landscapes of her childhood in the Amazon, as well as the importance of its conservation. Meanwhile, WWF-Ecuador celebrated the official recognition of the Llanganates - Sangay Connectivity Corridor (CELS). This is the country’s second recognized corridor of its kind and will allow the creation of participatory territorial planning instruments to promote positive economic alternatives. Meanwhile, in Colombia, Indigenous peoples from the Amazon approved the Environmental Management Plan led by WWF in the town of La Chorrera, which brings together the Bora, Muinane, Uitoto and Ocaina Indigenous peoples, as a guide to care for the environment and defend their territory.
With regards to Wildlife, the "Yaguá la caza" campaign was presented in Argentina to prevent illegal hunting in Misiones. This presentation included the participation of different artists and personalities from the country and the province. Meanwhile, WWF-Mexico inaugurated the exhibition "Jaguar, visual journey towards its conservation", which portrays the importance of conserving the species in the Maya Forest and the Central Pacific, two priority regions for this big cat. Meanwhile, the young winners of the jaguar mural contest, organized by WWF-Paraguay, visited the Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve where they were able to express the significance of jaguar conservation through their art, focusing on the need to live in harmony with nature.
In relation to Oceans, during the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC 5), WWF-Chile called for the protection of the Guafo Islands and their marine reserve, which is known for its rich culture and biodiversity in the Chilean Patagonia.
Finally in the Food Practice, WWF-Peru recognized the importance of the ancestral agriculture of three indigenous communities that belong to the Shipibo-Konibo people, who commercialize and produce banana crops free of agrochemicals.
Enjoy this new edition,
Senior Vice president & Regional Director
Greetings from the Amazon
WWF-Bolivia, in collaboration with WWF-Finland, presented "Greetings from the Amazon", a story in which our WWF-Bolivia expert Marcela Añez tells us about the landscapes of her childhood, on the edge of the world's largest tropical forest. For Marcela Añez, who coordinates the work of WWF to protect the unique freshwater nature in the Bolivian Amazon, “protecting the Amazon is about the survival of us all. Imagine walking slowly along the Blanco River while looking for dolphins with your own eyes. You arrive at Cerro Orícore, which rises to more than 300 meters, and you climb to its top. From above, you can see the entire landscape: millenary rock formations and bends in the river. You hear the sound of birds. Nothing compares to that feeling."
WWF-Ecuador celebrated the official recognition of the CELS
The consolidation of this conservation strategy is achieved thanks to an articulated and sustained participatory process between diverse groups of stakeholders. A few of the participants included the Ministry of the Environment, Water and Ecological Transition and various actors in the territory, such as Decentralized Autonomous Governments, municipalities, universities, institutions, conservation organizations, public and private companies, as well as communities in the area. WWF accompanied this process with technical assistance thanks to the support of the Hempel Foundation of Denmark and the Belgian Development Cooperation. As part of this celebration, WWF toured part of the Sumak Kawsay In Situ trails with researchers and the Minister of the Environment, Gustavo Manrique. There, we learned about the high biodiversity and endemic genetics that exist within the Corridor.
CELS is the second connectivity corridor recognized in the country by the environmental authority and, being a Special Area for Conservation, will allow the generation of participatory territorial planning instruments.
Indigenous community celebrates a new Environmental Management Plan
The final document for the Environmental Management Plan was officially approved after 3 years of coordination efforts. To celebrate, WWF-Colombia, Visión Amazonía and Azicatch came together on the Amazonian territory of La Chorrera, with traditional songs and dances to celebrate this special project for the four Indigenous communities Uitoto, Ocaina, Muinane y Bora. Its approval represents a new beginning for this territory, which suffered the Rubber Holocaust 100 years ago. This document includes 10 chapters and will be used as guidance to measure and achieve compliance with the environmental protection and the defense of this area, based on autonomy, principles, cultural values and respect.
“Yaguá la caza”, a campaign to stop hunting in Argentina
“Yaguá la Caza” is an initiative promoted by Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, with the goal of discouraging hunting in the Province of Misiones. During 2022, more than 78 poaching camps were identified and destroyed, despite the practice being prohibited by law.
The term “Yaguá” was used to generate local engagement, a common idiom from the region that means ‘rejection’ or ‘disapproval’. Cultural leaders, musicians and artists from the country and the province participated and added their voices to the growing conversation on this issue. Twenty five TV channels and radios provided wide-ranging coverage for the event.
20 micro-stories to conserve the jaguar
WWF-Mexico inaugurated the exhibition “Jaguar, a visual journey towards its Conservation”, in Mexico City, which shows its efforts and those of its allies to conserve the species in two priority regions: Selva Maya and the Central Pacific. The jaguar is the largest cat in the American continent and is considered an ambassador, not only for its beauty and importance in tropical ecosystems, but also for its relevance as a symbol of the identity and worldview of many native peoples of the region. In Mexico, the feline is listed as an endangered species. The exhibition shows a journey made up of 20 micro-stories represented through images, which show the feline, the natural spaces where it lives, its threats, the people who coexist with it, the actions to protect it and its representation in popular traditions.
Young winners of the jaguar mural contest visited Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve
WWF-Paraguay organized the contest "From the forest to our community" so that students from all over the country could express through their art the importance of jaguar conservation and living in harmony with nature. The students visited the Mbaracayú Forest (the last remnant of the Atlantic Forest in Paraguay) as the main prize.
"It was a unique experience: to connect with nature in a way we have never been before..." was the description of one of the students.
Call to advance the protection of Guafo Island
During the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC 5), held in Vancouver, Canada, Mapuche-Williche communities and WWF-Chile launched a call to action to move forward on protecting Guafo Island. Located 40 kilometres south of Chiloé, the island is vital for the life, culture and spirituality of the Indigenous communities in the area, as well as for the conservation of the marine biodiversity of the Chilean Patagonia.
Ancestral knowledge for an eco-friendly agriculture
The Koshicoop Cooperative promotes its tradition to grow and sell plantain without agrochemicals in domestic markets. Located in the districts of Masisea and Iparía, in the Ucayali jungle, three Indigenous communities of the Shipibo-Konibo people have managed to maintain their agricultural practices over time. To this day, they grow plantains without agrochemicals and sell them at a fair price. These are the native communities of Utucuro, Nueva Ahuaypa, and Puerto Grau.
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