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PADF, Caterpillar and SPVS Partner to Protect Biodiversity and Endangered Forests In Southern Brazil

• Project protects urban green spaces and Araucaria Forests in the state of Paraná
• Promotes biodiversity conservation through public awareness, forms network of stakeholders to conserve natural areas, and builds linkages between communities and green areas

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March. 14, 2013) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) announces a new project in southern Brazil that will foster the preservation of green urban areas, protect endangered Araucaria forests, and improve public understanding of conservation. This two-year $500,000 initiative is funded by the Caterpillar Foundation and will be carried out in partnership with Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem e Educação Ambiental (SPVS), a local conservation organization.

The Biodiversity Condominium (ConBio) project, or Projeto Condomínio da Biodiversidade, was highlighted at an event held yesterday in the municipality of Campo Largo, state of Paraná, where the project is centered. Event participants included municipal government officials, including Mayor Affonso Portugal Guimarães, and representatives from PADF, Caterpillar, SPVS and other institutions.

“The ConBio program evidences how investing in nature conservation is also an investment in the quality of life of people. This project serves as an example of Caterpillar’s ongoing commitment to make sustainable progress possible throughout the world and in the communities where they are present,” said Luisa Villegas, PADF Program Director for South America.

The ConBio project builds linkages between the local community and its green areas. The project encourages better environmental management and conservation of vital spaces through educational and recreational activities with students, property owners, and employees from Caterpillar.

Protecting the Araucaria tree (Araucaria angustifolia), the most representative specie of the Araucaria Forest ecosystem, and other native flora and fauna in urban areas in Campo Largo’s urban areas is a focus of this project. Less than one percent of the Araucaria Forest remains in the state of Paraná, making the conservation of the Araucaria tree and green areas a matter of regional importance to the biodiversity and sustainable development of Campo Largo and the state of Paraná.

Moreover, ConBio helps integrate residents who remain in natural areas, forms a network of stakeholders in the protection of natural areas and biodiversity conservation, builds awareness for the importance of maintaining biodiversity, and contributes to the quality of life of the residents of Campo Largo.

"The Caterpillar Foundation supports sustainability projects that enhance the communities where our employees live and work. We are excited to be able to support PADF, SPVS and the ConBio project in Campo Largo," said Caterpillar Campo Largo Facility Manager Otto Breitschwerdt. "This project will protect important green spaces and help further lead to the success and long-term sustainability of Campo Largo."

PADF has partnered with SPVS since 2009 in similar projects. SPVS is a non-governmental organization in Paraná with 28 years of history in favor of nature conservation in Brazil.

About PADF

PADF is the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American States, established in 1962 to implement integral socio-economic development programs for disadvantaged people, to strengthen civil society and community groups in support of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and to aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In 2012, it helped more than 10 million people in 29 countries. Headquartered in Washington DC, PADF has field offices in Haiti, Colombia and Suriname, and projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. www.padf.org

About the Caterpillar Foundation

Caterpillar Inc. supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than $550 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs. To learn more about the global impact of the Caterpillar Foundation, please visit www.caterpillar.com/foundation

About SPVS

SPVS is recognized as one of the most important NGOs in Brazil. Founded in 1984 in Curitiba, State of Paraná, Brazil, SPVS works towards the conservation of nature by protecting native areas, by carrying out environmental education programs and developing models for the rational use of natural resources. Today, its work is focused on the Araucaria Forest (a Southern Brazil biome threatened by extinction) and Guaraqueçaba region (an area located in the major remnant of the also threatened Brazilian Atlantic Forest). www.spvs.org.br