Protect Threatened Species in the Tropical Andes

Oct 5, 2012

A New Beginning

Rare is excited to introduce our thirteen newest Rare Conservation Fellows who are focused on "Reciprocal Water Agreements (ARA) and Biodiversity in Latin America." This is the second time that RARE is applying the "Pride" methodology in combination with ARA mechanisms, seeking to become a pioneer organization in establishing such conservation agreements, through its partners in the Andean countries and Mexico. These fellows will adapt and replicate demonstrated conservation solutions. Effectively implementing a community-based solution means providing economic incentives, training in more sustainable practices, accessing new tools and technologies, as well as changing attitudes and social norms. The fellows inspire people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their communities unique, while creating real incentives and alternatives to change environmentally destructive behaviors. Fellows who successfully complete their two-year projects earn a master’s degree in communication with an emphasis on conservation. Rare’s training program has been accredited by The University of Texas at El Paso, a leader in social marketing. We are so excited to share many more updates on their work, challenges, and successes over the next two years!

Why is your work with Rare important to you?

"It's a very important moment in my life and work. Since childhood I have developed work in rural communities and I have high expectations of how to make these communities settled in Los Angeles Basin, Alcalá-Ulloa municipality,
Colombia conserve their environmental resources, which are the basis of their life and productive, community, social, and cultural activities. I am very excited and pleased to have been selected in this group, sharing with peers from different countries, with different abilities and cultures."
Gina Julieta Marín Ospina

What do you think has or will motivate landowners in the watershed to adopt sustainable practices?

  • Dialogue between techinical/scientific and farmer's knowledge, that allows for the identification and incorporation of farmer's practices and knowledge that are compatible with the conservation and sustainable use fo the territory
  • Rural community participation in planning and selecting the alternative techniques that will be developed, avoiding initiatives that are imposed top to bottom
  • Economic compensation to support the cost of agricultural land conversion or implementation of sustainable practices.

- Georgina Vidriales

What challenges do you face?

”One of the main challenges we’ve had has been the negotiations with landowners. There are people and owners who we need to visit constantly in order to earn that trust that facilitates reaching agreements to be able to help each other. Another issue that needs to be taken into account is the training of technicians, so that they are knowledgeable and can inform the public about what they are paying for; and also be able to teach landowners, farmers or ranchers about the impacts of their positive actions, which are the base of the PES agreements...”
– Jimmy Leonardo Cuenca Satama

What do you enjoy most about working with Rare and the other conservation fellows?

“What I enjoy the most is the interaction with the Rare team, and the Campaign Managers. Particularly, I enjoy seeing the Campaign Managers enthusiastic about the activities; it is nice when everyone has the spirit of participation, as this group has.”
-Alan Hesse


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Arlington, VA, United States

Project Leader

Kristen Leavitt

Arlington, VA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Protect Threatened Species in the Tropical Andes