Contributing to the conservation of threatened species and ecosystems in Ibero-America
Countries in the region stand out for their biodiversity and work for its conservation through South-South Cooperation.
Latin-American countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela are among the richest places in terms of biodiversity worldwide. Brazil has the greatest biodiversity of flora and fauna on the planet, with the largest number of known species of mammals and freshwater fish and more than 50,000 species of trees and bushes (Sustainability for All, 2023). Colombia, on the other hand, ranks first in terms of bird, orchid and butterfly diversity, and is the second country with the highest diversity of amphibians, reptiles, palms and plants in general (SIB Colombia, 2023).
Being aware of their own wealth and the importance of conserving humanity’s natural heritage, these two countries implemented the Bilateral SSC project Exchange of experiences in the management and conservation of threatened species and ecosystems, in which the Zoological Foundation of Cali (Colombia) and the Zoological Garden Foundation of Brasilia (Brazil) participated. This initiative also aimed to strengthen the social role of zoos as a key institutions to raise awareness on biodiversity and ecosystems, and thus contribute to environmental preservation.
Twelve online meetings and two on-site technical visits were carried out in the framework of this initiative. Through these activities, 26 professionals from the two countries shared knowledge and experiences related to animals and their welfare, and regarding the communities that visit these Foundations (ABC and APC-Colombia, 2023).
Specifically, the on-site visits were very successful in meeting the objectives, since becoming familiar with the actual infrastructure, resources and human talent related to internal processes facilitates the identification of the adjustments both Foundations require in terms of their protocols, processes and methods. The aforementioned is necessary to ensure the comprehensive welfare of wildlife under human care, aligned with the highest standards promoted by international associations such as the Latin-American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (ALPZA by its Spanish acronym) and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) (ABC and APC-Colombia, 2023).
As part of the results and, in line with the meetings, workshops and discussions held during the technical visits, changes were made to policies, strategies, plans, programs, protocols and procedures (in each of the institutions), which optimize the processes focused on animal welfare, knowledge generation, sustainability, participatory conservation and the educational processes that were developed (ABC and APC-Colombia, 2023).
This project has strengthened the inter-institutional relationship between Brazil and Colombia and also aligned Ibero-American cooperation with the 2030 Agenda (SDG 6 and SDG 11).
Source: SEGIB based on Sustainability for All (2023), SIB Colombia (2023), Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC by its Portuguese acronym), Colombian Presidential Agency for International Cooperation (APC-Colombia by its Spanish acronym), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia.
Photographs: Bilateral SSC Project between Colombia and Brazil “Exchange of experiences in the management and conservation of threatened species and ecosystems, between the zoos of Cali and Brasilia (Brazil)”. Image bank on South‑South and Triangular Cooperation in Ibero‑America. SEGIB‑PIFCSS. 2022.