Tolima, Colombia, June 30, 2023
It is with great pride and excitement that we announce an extraordinary triumph for ProAves and Women for Conservation (W4C), organizations that have long been at the forefront of championing environmental stewardship and empowering women in conservation.
On June 30th, Sara Inés Lara, Women for Conservation’s founder and Executive Director of ProAves, signed a groundbreaking memorandum of understanding alongside various environmental agencies and local leaders. This agreement marks a significant step forward in expanding government protections for 27 ProAves Nature Reserves, 14 of which are essential project sites for W4C programming and all of which protect some of the most important habitats in the world for endangered wildlife. This memorandum represents the first steps towards our reserves receiving upgraded protection as regional parks, ensuring their preservation for many generations to come.
The memorandum builds upon the larger initiative, “Alliance of Regional Autonomous Corporations and Sustainable Development for Protected Areas of Colombia,” which was established in March with the participation of the directors of the 33 Regional Autonomous Corporations in the country. The memorandum was co-signed by Regional Autonomous Corporations (CARs), Conservation International, and regional environmental agency CORTOLIMA.
A Win for Endangered Wildlife
At the core of this accomplishment lies our unwavering dedication to saving endangered wildlife from extinction. By strengthening conservation measures within our nature reserves, we are providing a safe haven for vulnerable species. This accomplishment signifies a significant step towards ensuring their long-term survival and preserving their precious habitats.
Uplifting Rural Colombian Communities
This victory is not only a success for wildlife but also for rural communities. Women for Conservation’s community programs have opened the door for thousands of women and children to become engaged in earth-saving conservation work. These positive relationships we have fostered with local communities will only continue to grow as we partner with community groups to ensure their involvement in building a lasting conservation legacy. Women for Conservation remains committed to providing life-changing opportunities through conservation, and empower many women and children to pursue their dreams.
Supporting Forest Guards on the frontline of Conservation
One key benefit of this victory is additional support for our dedicated forest guards, who are on the frontline of endangered species conservation in the most dangerous country in the world for environmental land protectors. By expanding government protections for our Nature Reserves for Endangered Wildlife, we are also increasing support, resources, and protections for ProAves and Women for Conservation forest guards, who work tirelessly to save endangered wildlife and their habitats. Women for Conservation trains and employs women forest guards, who work in ProAves reserves to safeguard some of the most critical habitats for endangered wildlife in the world. Learn more supporting W4C’s women forest guards on our Urgent Projects Page!
Thank you to all who support our work!
As we celebrate this monumental success, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to each and every one of you, our dedicated conservation family, for your unwavering support. Together, we are creating a powerful legacy of conservation, gender empowerment, and community engagement, giving future generations inspiration to continue our noble mission.