A high-level Forum, representing 14 jaguar range countries, and international and national partner organizations, launched the Jaguar 2030 New York Statement last week at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The Statement recognizes that investing in the conservation of jaguars and their habitats can improve broader efforts to manage natural resources, strengthen community livelihoods, and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Statement also highlights the need for range country governments and partners to explore options for a regional approach that promotes research, increases awareness, and scales up successful integrated conservation initiatives. It recognizes the need for greater investments in nature-based solutions for development challenges linked to jaguars. By using public resources to incentivize private financing and by combining domestic and international resources, countries can achieve multiple social and economic benefits that are compatible with jaguar conservation.
Coinciding with this year’s World Wildlife Day celebration on the theme of Big Cat Conservation, the high-level Forum was organized with the objective of championing jaguar conservation and its role in promoting ecosystem resilience, local development, and climate mitigation, and advancing the 2030 Agenda. The Forum was co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Mexico and Colombia to the United Nations, and co-organized by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) Conservation International, Panthera, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and WWF.
Jaguar populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, killing for trophies and illegal trade in body parts, pro-active or retaliatory killings associated with livestock depredation, fear for human safety, and competition for wild meat with human hunters. These threats have created tremendous pressure on the species, whose overall population and range continues to decrease.
Recent progress on jaguar conservation solutions have demonstrated that this loss can be prevented and, in some cases, reversed as populations recover, with a set of proven conservation actions that protect this culturally and ecologically important species, while also addressing community and national development needs. Maintaining and accelerating this initial success will require a comprehensive regional approach by all partners.
The jaguar (Panthera onca) is the largest apex mammalian carnivore in Latin America, historically ranging over areas in 21 countries, including the southwestern United States, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina. It is extinct in El Salvador and Uruguay, and has no permanent residents in the United States. The jaguar is the largest cat in the Western Hemisphere, the third largest in the world, and the only representative of the “big cat” genus, Panthera, in the Americas.
Adriana Dinu, Director, Sustainable Development (Environment) a.i., UNDP - “The Jaguar 2030 New York Declaration reflects the commitment of range country governments and partners to work together to advance nature-based solutions for development challenges. By catalyzing greater investments in jaguar conservation, we can also generate a broader set of social and economic benefits in line with national and global sustainable development goals.”
Alan Rabinowitz, Chief Scientist, Panthera - “This Jaguar 2030 Forum, representing governments and other international organizations, is a major step forward in conserving one of the world’s most iconic big cat species and shows how a coordinated multi-lateral approach around a key species can integrate conservation with climate change, biodiversity, sustainability, development and community livelihood issues.”
Jennifer Morris, President of Conservation International - “Conservation International has worked for more than 30 years in securing jaguar habitat in the Neotropics. As the largest apex carnivore, the survival of jaguars is critical for the healthy functioning of biodiversity. Healthy ecosystems are critical not only for maintaining the rich natural heritage of this unique region, but also, for the well-being of people throughout the Americas.
Dr. Margaret Kinnaird, WWF Wildlife Practice Leader - “This Declaration sets the stage for a dynamic and progressive shift towards saving this imperiled big cat. The jaguar range countries now have a chance, through greater regional collaboration, securing jaguar landscapes, tackling poaching and human / jaguar conflict to register a historic win for America’s biggest cat.”
Dr. Elizabeth Bennett, Wildlife Conservation Society Vice President of Species Conservation - “The magnificent jaguar is the most powerful predator in the Americas and its survival has impacts on its habitat and communities. Conserving the species successfully will result in conservation of its forest and grassland habitats with their multiple benefits, including mitigation of climate change, and sustaining the lifestyles and cultures of the local and indigenous communities who live in jaguar landscapes.”
H.E. Joseph Harmon, Minister of Guyana, “The jaguar represents much more than just an animal; it is a part of a way of life of our people.”
Alejandro del Mazo Maza, National Commissioner of Protected Natural Areas, CONANP, Mexico - “…by protecting jaguars we are protecting ourselves; we are part of the biodiversity we share with the jaguar… Species don’t know about political frontiers so that is why we need to work together as countries, as humankind, to protect these species.”
Dr. Ugo Eichler Vercillo, Director of Conservation and Species, Ministry of Environment, Brazil - “Lose the jaguar and you lose the forest, lose the forest and you lose all the environmental systems.”
Jerry A-Kum, Adviser, Minister of Spatial Planning, Land and Forests, Suriname - “To protect the jaguar we need assistance, we need guidance, we need cooperation with national and international organizations and government… We are committed to saving the jaguar, not only for this generation and future generations.”
Join more than one million wildlife lovers working to save the Earth's most treasured and threatened species.
Thanks for signing up