Natura International began its programs for the conservation of critical habitats and endangered wildlife in Latin America in 2017. Our primary focus is on the creation of protected areas that will conserve forests and other endangered habitats over large areas. We do this by working closely with the governments involved as well as the local communities, to create a shared vision that includes both conservation and sustainable development for local peoples.
We were founded by Byron Swift, a conservation leader who helped found the US office of IUCN – The World Conservation Union, and led Rainforest Trust for 20 years and Nature and Culture International for 17 years. His experience in conservation and sustainable development programs spans 12 countries in Latin America over the past three decades.
Our current focus is on creating a number of large protected areas in Argentina, where we have a team based in Córdoba province in northwestern Argentina. This group has been working on conservation issues in northwestern Argentina since 2014, when they formed part of Pacific Biodiversity Institute, an NGO with 20 years of experience in ecological science and conservation. Under the PBI program “South American Wildlands and Biodiversity” the team started working in the Famatina mountain range in La Rioja province (West Argentina) first doing technical and scientific work and then establishing a protection strategy for this significant, biodiverse area. We grew and expanded our work by collaborating with several partners, local communities and governmental agencies. Once PBI ceased operations this program and the staff joined Natura in 2018.
The team now works intensely in several provinces of Argentina under the lead of biologist Lucila Castro, who has worked in conservation since 2008, and is now working on a PhD project focusing on mammal conservation in addition to her work with Natura. You can learn more about our current projects, here.
Natura International participated in the Nation’s Chamber of Deputies Commission on Natural Resources and Human Environment Conservation Commission hearing on the future Ansenuza National Park and its importance for flamingos and migratory and resident waterbirds.