The Source, our Annual Review 2019

The value of ecosystem services such as flood control was 4 x higher than the economic benefit from cattle raising

Cattle ranchers can take advantage of the flooding pulse to improve the quality of forage and pastures

We are also linking up with other critical economic activi- ties in the delta. In October, we held our first dialogue with the forestry sector, to consider water management and bio- diversity conservation in forest areas.

tween day-to-day risks on the delta and long-term collec- tive needs. “Floods affect our cows and calves,” he said. That was a problem. “But we need to stop degrading our wetlands, and work to restore them. So we need to discuss the right production systems for flooded areas.” After the workshop, 15 other ranchers signed up to join the project, bringing our “reach” to 26,000 hectares. During the year we also researched alternative production methods, such as raising water buffalo -- which appear better suited to the wet conditions than regular cattle, and whose meat commands a high price – and assessing their potential environmental impacts. We have been working too with the delta’s artisanal fishers, who are marginalised by larger operators and exploited by traders. In 2019, we held a workshop to launch the Paraná Delta Artisanal Fishers Network to train and empower them. It builds on our collaboration with four fishers’ coopera - tives that have signed work plans to ensure the sustain- ability of their activities. In return, we are helping them improve their livelihoods. The 30 members of the La Palometa Fisherfolks Association used to sell their catches at low prices to big merchants sold on to lucrative export markets. Our support helped them build capacity to fillet their fish and sell directly -- and more profitably -- to local markets.


Our work on the delta is part of a wider decade-long pro- ject, launched in 2018, to safeguard the entire fluvial corri - dor from the Pantanal wetland, the world’s largest tropical wetland, for 3400 kilometres down one of the world’s last large free-flowing river systems to the Paraná Delta. We call it the “Corredor Azul”, or blue corridor. The aim is to protect both natural wetland ecosystems and the livelihoods of the people who depend directly on them, including more than 10,000 fishing families, those who service eco-tourists, and the tens of millions depend- ent on the rivers’ water supplies and wetlands’ ability to soak up floods. In particular, we have been working to get wetlands properly incorporated into environmental impact assessments. In Argentina, for instance, that has not been the case. Governments have supported our programme. But hard choices await. Looming on the horizon is the long-dis- cussed Hidrovia Waterway project to create a shipping highway 50 metres wide from the Pantanal to the ocean, to

The “Corredor Azul” programme, launched in 2018, aims to safeguard the entire fluvial corridor from the Pantanal wetland, 3400 kilometres down one of the world’s last large free-flowing river systems to the Paraná Delta.


Wetlands Annual Review 2019

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