03.09.2019 - UNESCO Montevideo Office

Socialization meeting of the document “Management Plan of Paraguayan Pantanal”

On August 19, the socialization meeting of the Development Project of the Sustainable and Participatory Management Plan for Pantanal took place in Asunción, implemented by the National Tourism Secretariat with the support of the UNESCO World Heritage Center and the financing of the Spanish Cooperation.

The organizations involved in the project participating in the meeting were: Mr. Ariel Oviedo, Minister of the Environment; Ms. Sofía Montiel de Afara, Minister of Tourism; Mr. Rubén Capdevilla, Minister of Culture; Javier Hernández Peña, Ambassador of Spain; Fernando Rey Yebenes and Raimundo Espiau, representatives of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) in Paraguay; Lidia Brito, director of the UNESCO Regional Office of Science for Latin America and the Caribbean; and representatives from the National Secretariat of Tourism, the National Secretariat of Culture, the National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO, the Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Paraguay, FAO Paraguay, as well as from the NGOs linked to the project: Guyra Association Paraguay and Moisés Bertoni Foundation.

Minister Montiel presented the document “Towards a Sustainable and Participatory Management Plan for Pantanal”, which was coordinated by Dr. Alberto Yanosky, with the support of the international consultant Tilman Jaeger and a local inter-institutional team. Later, the team of the National Secretariat of Tourism presented the priority actions that will be followed in order to implement the management plan.

Through the "1972 Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage", UNESCO supports initiatives that contribute to the protection and enhancement of those places of "exceptional universal value" that belong to the common heritage of humanity, uniting the conservation of nature with the preservation of cultural sites and promoting the participation of local communities in the search for solutions to face contemporary challenges related to climate change, uncontrolled urbanization, mass tourism, socio-economic sustainable development and natural disasters.

Natural heritage is a priority for the Convention because it is a category not sufficiently represented in the World Heritage List. In the case of Pantanal, which represents a geographical region of great tourism potential and of very high importance in terms of its ecosystems and biodiversity, UNESCO recognizes the importance of strengthening the management and conservation mechanisms at local and national levels. That is why the strengthening of its conservation was considered by the countries of South America as a pilot project under the Plan of Action for World Heritage in South America 2015-2019, implemented by the World Heritage Center with funds from the Spanish Cooperation. The project could shed important light on the current situation in the region and its results helped to clearly identify the needs and options for the consolidation of conservation.

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