World Wetlands Day 2003: Bolivia



On February 2nd the world celebrated World Wetlands Day and Bolivian Pantanal - one of the most important and best preserved wetlands on earth which now has a Pantanal Information Center operating in the city of Puerto Suarez, Bolivia.

The Center, jointly inaugurated by WWF and the National Service for Protected Areas (SERNAP) on Wednesday, January 29, launched an array of communications materials ranging from: informational messages regarding the characteristics and conservation importance of the Pantanal (ecological, economic, and social), its Protected Areas (Otuquis and San Matias), presence of complementary wetland and dry chiquitano forest ecosystems, significance of its Ramsar site designation, importance of sustainable management, the environmental services it provides to the region and the necessary work and actions that need to occur to avoid its .

The highlight of the inauguration was a puppet show given by children who are members of the Pantanal Club at the Center. Their show, The Consequence of Fires in the Pantanal, was a great success.

The puppet show was organized by both teachers and students alike from the Josefina Goitya School in Puerto Suarez and carried a special relevance since this past December there was a significant fire in the Pantanal. The puppet show was interactive and allowed for the participation from the audience regardless of age.

Local authorities in Puerto Suárez and representatives from other sectors and institutions (military, civic, indigenous, etc.) also assisted in addition to staff from the National Service for Protected Areas and WWF Bolivia, teachers from schools and others interested in supporting the conservation of one of the worlds most important wetlands.

During the inauguration an important number of children, parents and teachers visited the Center.

The Center is run by an environmental promoter, Ms. Editha Amancio, based in Puerto Suárez, as well as SERNAP parkguards from the Pantanal Otuquis Protected Area ensuring the development and strengthening of local capacities in favor of conservation and in support of WWF Bolivia's Pantanal Program.

More information
Ana Alicia Eid, Communications Coordinator, WWF Bolivia, Santa Cruz.
Tel: (591-3) 34306093 - 3430641 - Email:

(Photos: Willy Landívar / WWF Bolivia)

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