Dear friends and colleagues,
Conservation efforts require working closely with communities to raise awareness, promote empowerment, and encourage actions to protect nature. In Latin America and the Caribbean, several organizations have stood out this month for their efforts in education, training, dissemination, and communication that have reached millions of people, all with the aim of preserving the region's incredible biodiversity and ecosystems.
In Wildlife, WWF-Mesoamerica and its partners released a free educational mobile game called "Find the Whales – Mesoamerican Reef" that focuses on coastal and marine conservation. In Mexico, the photographic exhibition "Jaguar: A Visual Journey towards Its Conservation" reached millions of people. In Ecuador, WWF and the Ministry of the Environment conducted the first training program for the management and mitigation of river dolphin mortality within the Cuyabeno-Lagartococha-Yasuní Ramsar Site. In Chile, WWF called for the protection of the Chilean dolphin, the country's only endemic cetacean, for World Dolphin Day. Meanwhile, the government of Honduras pledged to follow up on the "Spiny Lobster Fisheries Improvement Project in Honduras."
In terms of Forests, Indigenous organizations and NGOs from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru developed a practical guide for applying the intersectional approach in projects involving indigenous peoples of the Amazon. In Colombia, the successful closure of the GEF-Sinap initiative resulted in significant progress toward the consolidation of the National System of Protected Areas. In Paraguay, an album called "Sonidos del Chaco" was released, featuring sounds of nature and soundscapes from the region.
In the Food practice, a study by Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina and WWF-Brazil showed that 60% of survey respondents sought to adopt new eating habits. In Bolivia, WWF launched a new episode of its Pandacast podcast, featuring an interview with Carmen Rapú, a producer who sustainably harvests Amazonian cacao.
Lastly, with regard to Freshwater, youth-led actions took place in Iquitos and Pucallpa, Peru, for World Water Day and Earth Hour.
Enjoy this new edition!
Senior Vice president & Regional Director
Organizations join efforts to “Find the Whales” in the Mesoamerican Reef System
WWF-Mesoamerica, in collaboration with the Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI), Mesoamerican Reef Fund (MAR Fund), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC Belize), has released a new free educational mobile game called "Find the Whales – Mesoamerican Reef." This game, available in English and Spanish, aims to raise awareness about coastal and marine conservation in the Mesoamerican Reef System.
The game presents players with four quests that require them to complete various tasks, such as exploring mangroves, coral reefs, and the deep sea, finding amazing wildlife, and learning about the different threats that the region faces. Through gameplay, players can learn about the importance of preserving the Mesoamerican Reef System and how they can contribute to its protection.
Jaguar photography exhibition reaches millions of people
WWF-Mexico launched a photography exhibit titled "Jaguar: a visual journey towards its conservation," showcasing its efforts and partnerships to protect the feline in two key regions: the Maya Forest and the Central Pacific. The exhibition consisted of 58 large-format images and showcased a two-year selection of documentation from the Jaguar, Ambassador of the Americas project, which was presented through 20 micro-stories. These micro-stories highlighted the feline, its natural habitats and threats, the people who coexist with it, actions to protect it, and its representation in popular traditions. The exhibition was held in Mexico City's Bosque de Chapultepec, which is one of the largest urban parks globally, and received positive feedback from the public. Over a two-month period, it reached an impressive 4 million visitors, and 718 participants attended weekend workshops. The exhibit successfully raised awareness about the importance of conserving the Jaguar and its natural habitat in Mexico.
WWF-Ecuador and Ministry train on river dolphin management in Ramsar Site.
In Ecuador, both pink and gray dolphins are critically endangered due to a range of factors, including habitat degradation and hunting for illegal trafficking. In response to this crisis, WWF-Mexico and the Ministry of the Environment carried out the first training program for the management and mitigation of the mortality of river dolphins within the Cuyabeno-Lagartococha-Yasuní Ramsar Site.
The training was aimed at key actors such as park rangers, national police, military personnel, sailors, indigenous peoples, local communities, academia, tourism offices, prosecutors, and public officials. Its purpose was to encourage collaborative efforts to control and punish crimes that lead to the critical endangerment of the gray dolphin. This training program is an important step in raising awareness and promoting conservation efforts to protect the pink and gray dolphins in Ecuador.
Chilean dolphin: a call to protect the country's only endemic cetacean
On World Dolphin Day, celebrated every April 14th, WWF-Chile drew attention to the protection of the Chilean dolphin, the only endemic cetacean in the country. This small species ranges in size from 1.67 to 1.70 meters in length and weighs between 60 and 80 kilograms. Due to its shy nature and low population size, it is vulnerable to human activities such as artisanal fishing, which can have negative impacts on its survival.
Government of Honduras follows up on initiative to conserve spiny lobster
The commitment of the Honduran Government to follow up on the "Spiny Lobster Fisheries Improvement Project in Honduras" is a significant achievement that resulted from years of work by WWF-Mesoamerica to ensure lobster conservation in the country. In 2017, WWF-Mesoamerica promoted the integration of the working group for the evaluation of the Honduran Caribbean spiny lobster stock. The national group, with the support of WWF-Mesoamerica, carried out periodic surveys of the Honduran lobster stock and used quantitative models to evaluate the fishery, with special emphasis on the age structure model. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (DIGEPESCA) will lead the effort to follow up on the project and ensure the sustainable management of spiny lobster fisheries in Honduras.
Guide for Indigenous Women and Youth Participation in Conservation Projects with Intersectional Approach
To address the need for actions that incorporate an intersectional approach in the regional project Amazon Indigenous Rights and Resources, indigenous organizations and NGOs from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru have developed the Practical Guide for applying an intersectional approach to projects with indigenous peoples of the Amazon, in a participatory manner. This approach aims to facilitate greater effective participation of indigenous women and youth, and to overcome barriers by analyzing the various biological, social, and cultural characteristics that shape the identity of each person and determine their way of relating, whether through respect for diversity or discrimination.
Successful closure of GEF-Sinap advances Colombian protected areas
WWF-Colombia, in partnership with National Natural Parks, regional environmental authorities, and civil society reserves, executed the GEF-Sinap initiative for five years. The initiative, which was financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), achieved the strengthening of planning tools, effective management, financing, monitoring, and structuring of the National System of Protected Areas (SINAP) in Colombia. The project's long-term sustainability was ensured by the partners' joint efforts. As a result, the initiative successfully closed after five years of work.
Inclusive Conservation: Soundscapes of the Chaco Seco
WWF-Paraguay has partnered with Juan Pablo Culasso to release the album "Sonidos del Chaco Seco". This album features the sounds of nature and soundscapes of the driest area of Paraguay and is now available on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music. The recordings were mainly captured in and around the Teniente Agripino Enciso National Park, Médanos del Chaco National Park and Cañada El Carmen Private Reserve.
ARGENTINA & BRAZIL
Study by Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina and WWF-Brazil: 60% Seek New Eating Habits
The Eat4Change project, which is funded by the European Union and carried out by Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina and WWF Brazil, recently conducted a study on "Sustainable and Healthy Diets for the Southern Cone." The study aimed to investigate the level of knowledge among consumers in Argentina and Brazil about the environmental impact of food choices, as well as their willingness to adopt healthier and more sustainable eating habits. The results of the study provided important and conclusive data.
The Earth gives us life: a day as a cocoa producer.
In the latest episode of Pandacast, Carmen Rapú, a sustainable Amazonian cocoa, also known as wild chocolate, producer takes us on a journey through her daily life. Have you ever imagined what it's like to sustainably harvest Amazonian cocoa? Tune in to hear this incredible story.
Youth led actions for World Water Day and Earth Hour in Iquitos and Pucallpa
On World Water Day and Earth Hour, several young leaders of organizations in Iquitos and Pucallpa joined hands to raise awareness about the threats to nature, especially the rivers of these Amazonian cities. The Amazon Rescue Center (CREA), Grupo Ambiental Tierra Amazónica (GATIA), Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura de Loreto (DDC Loreto), Voluntariado de Biodiversidad Ucayalina (VBU), and Real Plaza Pucallpa, supported by the Amo El Río collective and WWF-Peru, organized free activities to educate people about the importance of nature. More than 20 youth organizations were part of this initiative.
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