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Dear friends and colleagues,
2022 was a year full of milestones for conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean. In this special edition of the WWF-LAC Newsletter, we bring you some of the most iconic moments of the past year for nature, as we move into 2023, a year full of challenges for conservation in which, once again, we reaffirm our commitment to restore and heal our relationship with nature. In December, we celebrated governmental commitments to eliminate subsidies that are harmful to nature and the broader commitment to substantially increase financial resources by 2030. We will continue to work towards a 2023 where promises to the planet are fulfilled.
In the Forests practice, WWF-Colombia along with the Government of the country and several public and private sector partners, signed a joint declaration to support the Herencia Colombia's Project Finance for Permanence, a tool that will enable them to meet the goal of protecting 30% of their continental territory and 30% of their seas by 2030.
During Restoration Day at COP15, the Tri-national Atlantic Forest Restoration Network was recognized by the UN as one of the Decade on Restoration Flagship Projects, an initiative in which Fundación Vida Silvestre collaborates with 30 organizations.
On the other hand, WWF-Ecuador celebrated the Anniversary of the declaration as a “Gift to the Earth” of the Llanganates Sangay Corridor, through an open house where sustainable enterprises of the communities belonging to the corridor were presented. In addition, WWF-Colombia led the Alliance for the Escazú Agreement, a fundamental tool for guaranteeing the rights to access information, participation and justice regarding environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In Mexico, after two years of talks and ideation, on November 30, 2022, the strategic planning process of the Mexican Alliance for the Restoration of Ecosystems (AMERE) concluded by signing a Collaboration Agreement between its three founding organizations: Reforestamos Mexico, WRI Mexico and WWF-Mexico.
In relation to Oceans, WWF-Peru created RedCicla, an initiative that seeks to get small-scale fishers involved and committed to recycling fishing nets at the end of their lifespan, which will help reduce the threat of plastics in marine ecosystems.
In Wildlife, WWF-Bolivia and the EU conducted a study with camera traps that recorded animals that frequent protected areas affected by fires in the Bolivian Pantanal.
Meanwhile, in the Food Practice, in Ecuador, WWF joined several cocoa associations from the Zancudo Cocha community in the Cuyabeno National Reserve in an exchange of knowledge on good agroforestry practices between associations and communities.
In this edition, we also have a contribution from WWF-Spain, highlighting the results from COP15, and the celebration of the Global Agreement that will guide collective action to reverse the loss of nature by 2030.
Enjoy the first edition of the new year,
Senior Vice president & Regional Director
Heritage Colombia provides long-term financing for Colombian Protected Areas
On June 23, 2022, the government of Colombia, WWF and several partners from the public and private sectors ratified their commitment to the long-term conservation of the country's protected areas by signing a joint declaration to support the Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) initiative called Heritage Colombia (HECO). This initiative already has funds for its first 10 years: $245 million USD of public and private financing to permanently protect nearly 32 million hectares of iconic land and marine landscapes in Colombia. In addition, this mechanism will contribute significantly to the fulfillment of Colombia's 30 by 30 goal, which seeks to protect 30% of its continental territory and 30% of its seas by 2030.
The Atlantic Forest named a World Restoration Flagship Initiative at COP15
The Trinational Network to restore the Atlantic Forest was recognized by the UN as one of the Decade on Restoration Flagship Projects.
This Tri-national Restoration Network is a multi-sectoral movement that covers the Upper Paraná Tri-national Ecoregion in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay and involves different actors in the work of restoring the Atlantic Forest and its ecosystem services. Fundación Vida Silvestre is one of the organizations representing the Trinational Atlantic Forest Restoration Network in Argentina.
Sustainable entrepreneurs celebrate the Gift to the Earth Anniversary
In December, we celebrate the Anniversary of the declaration as a “Gift to the Earth” of the Llanganates Sangay Corridor, a public recognition that WWF granted in 2002, for the commitment of local governments and communities to the conservation of this area. To commemorate this important date, we held an open house in which sustainable enterprises promoted by WWF presented their products and services to the public.
With five strategic alliances across the world, two national chapters, three thematic working groups and more than 500 people on the board, 40 mapped companies, governments (federal and subnational) from various sectors, academia, NGOs, the productive sector and communities, AMERE opens its doors as a meeting point. It is a working platform to build connections, and strengthen and position the environmental restoration agenda in Mexico by 2030.
Colombia ratified the Escazu Agreement
On October 10, 2022, nearly three years after it was signed, the Colombian Congress approved the bill that ratified Escazu Agreement. This is a fundamental tool to ensure the rights to access environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making processes and access to justice in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean. WWF-Colombia’s Advocacy and Communications teams, led the Alliance for the Escazu Agreement, an initiative made up of experts, universities, organizations and think tanks that influenced and provided clarification on the Agreement within Congress. They also provided digital communications to highlight the importance of this tool in Colombia (one of the most dangerous for environmental defenders). Once the procedures to formalize the ratification are finished, the Alliance will have the enormous challenge of ensuring the correct implementation of the Agreement in the territories.
Recycling fishing nets: A challenge for small-scale fishers
Fishing gear is the deadliest type of plastic debris for marine species and represents approximately 10% of marine litter. In response to this, WWF-Peru created RedCicla, an initiative that motivates small-scale fishers to collect and recycle fishing nets at the end of their useful life. This can help prevent nets from reaching the sea and becoming the most damaging plastic threat to our marine ecosystems.
The Ciencia Pantanal magazine launches its 7th edition
The seventh edition of the Ciencia Pantanal magazine, which includes articles for those interested in conserving the Pantanal biome, and its ecosystem of culture, flora and fauna. Among the materials, you will find a study with camera traps records images of animals that frequent protected areas affected by fire in the Bolivian Pantanal.
The cameras were active for 90 days in Otuquis National Park and for 42 days in San Matias IMNA, coinciding with the beginning of the rainy season and after the intense fires.
Communities and organizations exchange knowledge on good agroforestry practices
In December, WWF-Ecuador accompanied the Kallari, Wiñak, and Tsatsa Yaku cocoa associations to the cocoa chakras of the Zancudo Cocha community in the Cuyabeno National Reserve. This visit also was attended by WWF’s global cocoa leader, in order to exchange knowledge on good agroforestry practices in the production of deforestation-free cocoa. From the middle of the Amazon jungle, we reflect on how to promote sustainable livelihoods for their communities.
We celebrate the COP 15 Global Agreement to reverse the loss of nature by 2030.
Adopted by 196 countries under the Convention on Biological Diversity, we welcome the agreement's target to conserve at least 30% of the world's land, freshwater and oceans, which respects the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities and recognizes the contributions of indigenous and traditional territories in meeting this target.
Agreeing on a common global target that will guide collective and immediate action to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 is an exceptional feat for those who have negotiated the Global Biodiversity Framework and a victory for people and the planet. It sends a clear signal and should be the launch for action by governments, business and society towards a nature-positive world in support of climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals.
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