Dear friends and colleagues,
In March, millions of people around the world joined forces to take action for our only home during Earth Hour. Latin America and the Caribbean played a crucial role in creating The Biggest Hour for Earth, with 154 cities and thousands of people participating in their local campaigns and generating more than 82,000 hours of action for nature.
In the area of Climate and Energy, Mesoamerican journalists were recognized for publishing pieces on adaptation to climate change.
Regarding the Freshwater Practice, the governments of Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and Zambia launched the 'Fresh Water Challenge,' the world's largest initiative to restore rivers and freshwater wetlands. Additionally, WWF-Chile launched the "Rural Drinking Water Supply, Forest Restoration, and Human Rights in the Valdivia River Basin" initiative in the context of World Water Day.
In Forests, 280 Indigenous artisans from Peru contributed to improving the quality of life of over 1,200 families in their communities and protecting more than 142,000 hectares of forests. Meanwhile, in Colombia, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park was expanded, and GCF approved significant resources for the conservation of protected areas.
In the Wildlife practice, a study on jaguar population and its environment began with the communities of the Northern Chiquitanía in the Monte Verde Indigenous territory, in Bolivia. Moreover, the citizen science platform ArgentiNat in Argentina reached one million observations of species.
In relation to Oceans, during the Our Ocean Conference, WWF and the scientific community launched the report "Blue Corridors of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Opportunities and Actions to Protect Migratory Whales", which calls for urgent cooperation to protect their routes from Alaska to Chile. WWF signed an agreement to protect the mangroves at the Gulf of Guayaquil in Ecuador. Mexico organized the first Participatory Photography Workshop in the community of Dzilam de Bravo, with the support of WWF US, as part of the activities carried out for the Mangroves for the Community and Climate program.
Furthermore, WWF-Peru presented advances in the diagnosis of corruption risks in squid and mahi-mahi fisheries and a guide to anti-corruption approaches. In Mexico, WWF and ECOBAC trained 40 boaters and tour guides on best whale-watching practices in Los Cabos.
Finally, in Markets, WWF handed out the first medals made of 100% recycled plastic as part of the "Leaving Traces of Sustainable Consumption" walkathon in Paraguay.
Enjoy this new edition!
Senior Vice president & Regional Director
Latin America and the Caribbean turned one hour into thousands of hours of action for the planet
On Saturday, March 25th, millions of people across more than 190 countries and territories came together to celebrate Earth Hour at 8:30 p.m. local time. In Latin America and the Caribbean, 154 cities joined the global campaign, with approximately 71 monuments and iconic landmarks in the region turning off their lights. More than 82,000 hours of action were dedicated to nature, and millions of people were reached on social media, with thousands participating in events and calls to action in their respective countries.
Many local campaigns focused on raising awareness about sustainable consumption and reducing food and general waste, as well as emphasizing the importance of taking action for the planet, no matter how small the action.
Journalists receive recognition for published pieces on adaptation to climate change
WWF Mesoamerica recently hosted a virtual awards event to recognize the winning journalists of the "Smart Coasts" journalism contest in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. The contest was announced after a two-day virtual workshop where progress on the Smart Coasts project was discussed. This project aims to integrate climate change into marine protected areas and coastal management of the Mesoamerican Reef Ecoregion. Over 100 journalists participated in the training, and after a selection process, the best works presented in each country were chosen. The winning pieces can be found here:
- Mexico: "How to save the Mesoamerican Reef System. Are coasts ready?"
- Belice: "Stakeholders attending virtual Smart Coast Project workshop say enforcement is critical for any environmental plan to succeed"
- Guatemala: "The climate change catastrophe is beneath the waves"
- Honduras: "Climate change will damage Honduras 10 times more than the pandemic"
WWF launches massive Freshwater Challenge to restore degraded rivers, lakes and wetlands
The governments of Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and Zambia have launched the Fresh Water Challenge, which is the largest global initiative to restore rivers and freshwater wetlands. The initiative aims to restore 300,000 km of rivers and 350 million hectares of wetlands, an area larger than India. The announcement was made during the UN Water Conference and was supported by WWF, IUCN, Wetlands International, TNC, Secretariat of the Ramsar Wetland Convention, UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and AB InBev.
Freshwater, restoration and human rights: new WWF Chile project funded by the European Union
WWF-Chile has launched a new project in the Los Ríos Region of southern Chile, an area that experiences heavy rainfall but is currently facing water scarcity. The initiative, called "Rural Drinking Water Supply, Forest Restoration, and Human Rights in the Valdivia River Basin," was launched on World Water Day and is funded by the European Union. The project, which is being implemented by WWF-Chile, aims to strengthen access to water and promote the human right to water, as well as facilitate forest restoration and participatory planning for the Valdivia River Basin.
Weaving dreams to value the cultural identity
280 artisans from the Bora, Kukama Kukamiria, Huitoto, Shipibo Conibo, Yanesha, and Ashaninka Indigenous peoples contribute to improving the quality of life of more than 1,200 families in their communities and protecting more than 142,000 hectares of forest.
Colombia expands the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park
After a process of long-term consultation and dialogue with the indigenous communities Arhuaco, Kogui, Wiwa and Kankuamo, Colombian environmental authorities, together with Mamos and indigenous governors, decreed the expansion of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park, a unique place in the world that is home to ancestral peoples and the largest coastal mountain on the planet.
With an increase of 172,458 hectares, it will now be one of the largest terrestrial protected areas in the Colombian Caribbean, covering a total area of 573,312 hectares and modifying the conditions to care for water sources and biodiversity, as well as to preserve the ancestral knowledge of an ancient culture that is a world heritage.
UN's Green Climate Fund (GCF) will allocate resources to Colombian protected areas
WWF-Colombia is celebrating the approval of USD 43 million for the conservation of protected areas in Colombia. This funding will contribute to the achievement of national and international climate and biodiversity goals in priority terrestrial and marine landscapes. The GCF funding will support the financial sustainability of Herencia Colombia, an initiative focused on the permanent conservation of nearly 32 million hectares of protected areas. This represents a significant step towards fostering a positive relationship between people and nature.
Population study of the jaguar and its environment began with communities of the Northern Chiquitanía in the Monte Verde TIOC
As part of the jaguar community conservation project in the Northern Chiquitanía, the Palmarito de la Frontera community has implemented activities to strengthen sustainable forest management of Indigenous Community Organizations and improve the livelihoods of its members. The community is located in the Monte Verde Indigenous territory, known as TIOC in Spanish, 73 km northeast of Concepción in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Citizen science reaches a new milestone in Argentina with one million observations
ArgentiNat is a citizen science platform promoted by Vida Silvestre, aimed at connecting people with nature. Recently, the platform achieved a major milestone, reaching one million verified observations in Argentina. Users from all over the country and the world register records of animals, plants, fungi, and other organisms, through photos or sounds, in order to generate georeferenced open data that is valuable for science and conservation.
This portal for Argentina is a part of iNaturalist, a global citizen science platform with over six million registered users. In just three and a half years, about 16,000 people participated in ArgentiNat, registering and identifying more than 17,000 species. The first milestone is a testament to the success of the platform and its mission to connect people with nature.
A call to protect migratory routes of whales
During the Our Ocean Conference, held in March in Panama, WWF and the scientific community launched the report "Blue Corridors of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Opportunities and Actions to Protect Migratory Whales", which calls for urgent cooperation to protect their routes from Alaska to Chile. To achieve this, it proposes strengthening the systems of Marine Protected Areas, mitigating threats such as plastic pollution and other materials, and diverting shipping routes away from their critical habitats. Twelve of the 14 great whale species use the Eastern Pacific Ocean as a hub for their migrations. Climate change, maritime traffic, noise and fishing activity affect these mammals and their survival.
WWF signs agreement to protect mangroves in the Gulf of Guayaquil
WWF-Ecuador has signed a cooperation agreement with three artisanal fishing associations that protect 6,089 hectares of mangroves in the Gulf of Guayaquil. The associations, including the Association of Artisanal Fishermen of Bioaquatic and Related Species Isla Escalante, the Association of Los Ceibos Crab Retailers, and the Puerto Buena Vista Artisanal Fishery Production Association, have come together to conserve and effectively manage one of the world's most important ecosystems. The Gulf of Guayaquil's mangroves are under threat from a variety of sources, including illegal logging, pollution, climate change, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and piracy.
Participatory photography workshop
WWF-Mexico, with the support of WWF-US, organized the first Participatory Photography Workshop in Mexico, held in the community of Dzilam de Bravo in the Yucatan Peninsula, which is home to approximately 40% of the country's mangroves. The workshop was part of the Mangroves for Community and Climate project and utilized a collaborative process designed by photographer Jason Houston. The goal was to enable the community to tell their own stories and to better understand their relationship with coastal ecosystems through photography as a means of self-expression and a catalyst for community conversations. The program aimed to facilitate the creation and sharing of meaningful stories.
WWF-Peru presents preliminary findings for anti-corruption fishery guide
The complex and sensitive issue of corruption was recently addressed in Peru, as it is one of the structural causes that weakens fisheries governance and facilitates illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing for squid and mahi mahi.
Improving safety for whales and people
Mexico is actively working with various partners to protect and conserve whales in the Eastern Pacific. In collaboration with ECOBAC, the country has trained 40 boaters and tour guides on the best practices for whale watching in Los Cabos. To minimize the risk of collisions, a workshop was held in Bahía Banderas, and the harbormaster agreed to broadcast a daily radio message during the whale season to promote precautions. To increase the safety of whales and people, 36 signs with the message "less speed = more lives" were also installed in marinas located in Los Cabos, La Paz, Banderas Bay, and Huatulco.
Mexico has also collaborated with the offices of Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Mesoamerica to publish the report "Blue Corridors of the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Opportunities and Actions to Protect Migratory Whales."
WWF Paraguay hands out the first medals made of 100% recycled plastic
WWF-Paraguay and the Secretariat of Consumer and User Defense jointly organized the Leaving Traces of Sustainable Consumption walkathon in honor of World Consumer Rights Day and Earth Hour. The event featured an iconic moment when the first medals made with 100% recycled plastic were distributed. The production of these medals involved using 3,300 plastic caps, which were diverted from ending up in nature. Over 300 individuals participated in the event, which aimed to promote the idea of being agents for the generation of consumers, users, and suppliers committed to protecting the environment.
- 169.9 K impressions and + 6.317 engagements (54 retweets) in @WWF-LAC.
World Water Day
198 retweets, 402 likes
IPCC Climate Report
204 retweets, 233 likes
Data: March 1-31, 2023 (Twitter Analytics)
- +6.177 interactions (likes, reactions, comments and shares) generated by contents in Spanish at WWF International's Facebook.
- +190.2 K users reached.
105 interactions, 1.193 users reached, likes 15
The Freshwater Challenge
406 interactions, 29.618 users reached, likes 196
Data: March 1-31, 2023 (Facebook Statistics)