Erwin Orvando, a park guard at the Valdivian Coastal Reserve, conducting a routine bird monitoring survey. ©2012 Nick Hall

The Nature Conservancy has worked in South America for more than 35 years, collaborating with other non-profits and with local governments, indigenous groups, farmers, ranchers and corporations. By working in these partnerships, we have already been able to play a key role in conserving more than 72 million acres of vital natural areas.

Building on a sound base of good science, we have designed strategies and projects that represent highly innovative approaches to conservation in the 16 countries where we work. We are engaging new partners and deploying new tools that make use of the same market forces that threaten biodiversity. And we are drawing ever more clearly the linkages between what is good for nature and what is good for people.

Our conservation projects seek to demonstrate practical solutions to the pressing problems that natural ecosystems – and humans who rely on them – are facing across Latin America.

In the Amazon, we work closely with indigenous groups, and have helped them access and apply the resources they need to manage their lands sustainably. We also work there with ranchers, farmers, corporations and local governments to find verifiable ways to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation. In the Andes, we have pioneered the use of water funds to protect and restore watersheds that provide clean water to millions; other projects are now testing similar models in the forests and watersheds that supply water to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. From Chilean vineyards and Peruvian fishing grounds to Patagonian sheep ranches and Brazilian soy fields, we are working with industries and individuals to respond to fast-growing markets for sustainably produced goods.

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