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Building Alliances in Latin America

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18 September 2011 | Leaders in Latin America have taken steps to combine efforts to address today’s environmental conservation challenges.

Coordinated by the Nature Conservancy, the Latin America Conservation Council brings together 34 of the region’s top business and political leaders to solve Latin America’s conservation challenges.  The hope is that these council members will apply the same tactics in conservation efforts that they do in the business and political world.

The Council will focus on developing projects and advocating conservation practices that address nature-based solutions to water security; food security and sustainable landscapes and seascapes; and smart infrastructure development.

“Those three areas of focus represent a very ambitious and broad agenda,” said Henry M. Paulson, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary and co-chair of the council. “That is deliberate. Within each of them we will carefully select projects, work with other conservation organizations and commit to getting some truly satisfying results at real places.”

Beyond developing these projects, members will work to build broader engagement in conservation by the Latin American population.

“I have seen both the benefits and challenges posed by the rapid development in many Latin American countries,” said Alain Belda, the Managing Director or Warburg Pincus.  “We have now the opportunity to choose to grow sustainably as a region.  With members from across Latin America, the Council has the opportunity to influence practices and policies at a continental scale.”

In addition to individuals from Latin America, council members include leaders from Europe and the United States that have strong ties to the region.  See a full list of members here.

“Latin America is changing and growing fast and there exists a unique opportunity to guide that growth in a sustainable way,” said Paulson while announcing the Council.  “It is clear that the time has come for a truly pan-regional approach to sustainability and ensuring the health of the forests, grasslands, rivers and oceans that sustain the region’s people and economies.  The Council will be a leading voice for these issues.”

“The fact that such an influential group of Latin American leaders has agreed to join the Council demonstrates the urgency and opportunity of taking steps now to conserve the region’s natural capital,” said Nature Conservancy CEO Mark Tercek.  “We believe the only way to address regional environmental challenges is for all sectors of society – business, government and NGOs – to work together.”

The Council will hold its first formal meeting in November in Cartagena, Colombia.

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