We got some really great news from South America this week. A motion to protect the biologically rich Pantanal headwaters - in the huge tropical wetlands linking Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay - was approved at the annual meeting of river basin committees.
There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it’s an important milestone in our new HSBC-funded water programme in the region.
The Pantanal area is home to at least 4,700 plant and vertebrate species. The environmental importance of this great continental wetland was formally recognised in 1998 when it was declared a National Heritage site by Brazil. Then in 2000 the UN added the title of World Biosphere Reserve.
Our ambitious aim is to get 20 local municipalities to sign a pact to protect the Pantanal. What’s been achieved this week is a great move forward, getting 165 river basin committees to approve the motion - essentially giving the seal of approval to the idea of the pact.
The motion that’s been approved emphasises the importance of the Pantanal, and calls on national, regional and local institutions “to join together in carrying out actions designed to help protect the headwaters of the Pantanal”.
These actions include the recuperation of local springs, degraded areas of land and forests, and encouraging good practices in crop and livestock production in the region.