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martes, 18 de junio de 2013

On the move Para La Tierra

Since the beginning of the New Year, Para La Tierra has been moving and shaking. It all began thanks to the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, who have supported us in turning Para La Tierra into a model conservation organisation in Paraguay. In addition to setting up sustainable community projects and employing local Forest Guards among other things, their belief that we could do it has acquired us a new car – a Wingle 5 – and with it new opportunities. Large parts of Paraguay are still inaccessible, and even by bus travel is very difficult. The Chaco is just one of these places, where holes in the treacherous “road” are only the start of the problem. With our own transport we have been able to make several trips into the “green hell”, snaking our way to the far north of the country, discovering the Chaco’s spectacular views. As you may remember form Joe’s blog at the time, the Chaco is a wild and exciting place, boasting a vast biodiversity of strange and wonderful plants and animals. Within the year, we hope to have a second ecological station located at a beautiful Chaco reserve, and repeat some of the successes we’ve had at Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca in these past three years. More recently we found ourselves in Switzerland, at Rolex Headquarters. We spent four busy days meeting some very impressive people including James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic) who recently piloted the first one-man mission to the deepest part of the ocean! We also had the chance to hang out with the equally impressive older laureates including Mark Kendall who has invented a new method of administering vaccine which doesn’t require the use of needles, and Sergei Bereznuk who is working to save Amur tigers in Russia. We also made a new connection with Erika Cuellar, who has dedicated her life to protecting mammals in the Bolivian, Paraguayan and Argentinean Chaco. We then had the privilege of spending our final day at the IUCN headquarters in Geneva, where we met some of the people behind the biggest conservation network in the world. We left Switzerland with hundreds of new ideas and a renewed passion for our work. Back in Paraguay, we are now entirely focused on the growth of Para La Tierra, but to do that we need your help. We are now just over half-way through our Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign to fund a new research station in the Chaco, and thanks to all of you who’ve donated so generously, we’ve already reached our baseline target of £5000. With this amount of money we’ll be able to renovate an existing house, making it ready for volunteers to come, explore and learn about this endangered but little-known world. But we want to do more. With extra funding we’ll be able to build an education program including a public museum helping people to fully appreciate what we are in danger of losing forever. If there’s enough left over, we’ll also be able to develop resources enabling children to get involved in science, training the next generation of conservationists, or just giving them a better chance in life. Please give what you can and we will send you a reward along with our everlasting gratitude. If you can’t or if you’ve already donated don’t despair, you can still help! This week we are running a referrals competition. All you need to do is visit the campaign homepage and click on the facebook, twitter or google+ links below the video. We can track referrals and will award a t-shirt to the person with the most! The current record stands at 15, surely you can beat that! Thanks again to everyone who has got behind us. Let’s get Para La Tierra moving once more – get clicking! Karina

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