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Article Teaser: There is little doubt that nature conservation and wildlife protection are growing areas of activity in Latin America. However, conservation efforts still face difficult social, economic, and environmental challenges.

Keep reading below...

The Importance Of Conservation Volunteers In Latin America

Copyright (c) 2006-2017

There is little doubt that nature conservation and wildlife protection are growing areas of activity in Latin America. However, conservation efforts still face difficult social, economic, and environmental challenges. Human populations throughout region continue to grow, some at alarming rates, ultimately demanding more from the land. South America alone has lost almost a quarter of its forests, while the percentage of deforestation in Central America is even higher. By 1983 about 83% of Costa Rican forests had been felled, mostly for beef production, and much of that was shipped to the United States for use as hamburgers. Increased cattle ranching, hunting, fishing, mining, and other natural resource exploitation threaten already stressed ecosystems. Conservationists are saddened that so many species within such groups as mammals, birds, crocodilians, and others are now listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) as threatened or endangered, often throughout their entire range. Some species, such as the magnificent hyacinth macaw, once widespread and abundant, have been dramatically reduced and now occupy a much more restricted range.

Working to reverse these trends are numerous nature conservation and wildlife protection organisations spread throughout Latin America. Hundreds of innovative environmental projects exist such as those to protect immense areas of lush tropical forest. They are run by dedicated people committed to studying and saving these wild habitats and their flora and fauna.

Without the commitment and financial support of volunteers, many projects would be unable to carry out this vital work. This is because there is generally very little government help for small environmental organisations and the projects which they manage. Hence, your contribution as a volunteer could help ensure the long-term survival of a tropical rainforest or an endangered species. This is because you are actively participating in the conservation of that area or species.

Your participation as a volunteer can also make an indirect impact. Firstly, by means of the revenue generated by volunteers entering the local economy. For example, there is a sea turtle project in Costa Rica where all the volunteers pay for board and lodging with local families. Local community involvement is a priority of the project. In this way, reminiscent of ecotourism, volunteers provide an economic incentive to local communities to continue to conserve the area and not poach the turtle eggs. Secondly, as an international volunteer you may have the chance to participate in environmental education efforts with community members and local school children. It is impossible to overstate how important education is in considering the future of conservation. In reality, our most realistic hope to conserve the full biodiversity of the Latin American ecosystems.

Stephen Knight recommends you visit Volunteer Latin America for more information on environmental volunteering opportunities in Latin America.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Stephen Knight is the webmaster of Volunteer Latin America. He is committed to helping conserve the natural environment and to improving the lives of human beings through the promotion and encouragement of volunteer work in Mexico, Central and South America. Without the commitment and financial support of volunteers, many projects would be unable to carry out their vital work. Volunteer Latin America is not only a great source of affordable voluntary work but a means to finding some of the best Spanish language schools in Latin America. http://www.volunteerlatinamerica.com

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Internal ID: #2883
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Total Views: 3235

Article Rating: 2.57 of 5
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