PADF and SPVS Renew Partnership to Strengthen Nature Conservation Efforts in Brazil

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March. 20, 2013) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) signed a new agreement yesterday with Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem e Educação Ambiental (SPVS), a Brazilian nature conservation organization, renewing a partnership that has focused on protecting Brazil’s endangered Atlantic Forest in key areas of the southern state of Paraná.

The signing of this agreement coincides with the announcement of a new Caterpillar-funded conservation project in Brazil between PADF and SPVS. This two-year initiative, called Biodiversity Condominium (ConBio) project, is centered in Paraná’s Campo Largo municipality and seeks to foster the preservation of green urban areas, protect endangered Araucaria forests, and improve public understanding of conservation.

“This new agreement with SPVS further strengthens our commitment to preserving Brazil’s endangered habitats. SPVS is a strong and reliable partner, and we are convinced that our conservation efforts will continue to change the way people relate to the environment and how they protect it,” said Luisa Villegas, PADF Program Director for South America.

"The partnership with PADF will allow us to continue this work and help bring the knowledge and technology that the Foundation has to incorporate social elements in nature conservation projects," said Clóvis Borges, SPVS Executive Director.

Since 2009, PADF and SPVS spearheaded a project to preserve remaining native Araucaria forests in privately-owned properties in Paraná. Funded by Boeing, the project partnered with landowners and raised awareness within the communities about the value of these forests. This and other efforts helped conserve the existing biodiversity in this ecoregion and improved, for instance, local community-based ecotourism in the Guaraqueçaba region (an area located in the major remnant of the also threatened Brazilian Atlantic Forest). Supported by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., PADF also supported SPVS's efforts to conserve fragile species like the papagaio de cara roxa by working with local schools on environmental education for its students.  In the long-term, these projects will have helped fight climate change and generate other benefits—called ecosystem services—that are responsible for the availability of clean water, food, raw materials and medicines, the conservation of rivers and soil, the pollination of agricultural crops, among many other examples.

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.

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).