A recently signed peace agreement between the government of Colombia and the left-wing guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) opens the door to restoring the health of the country’s natural resources as well as preventing further damage or loss to them.
WWF, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and several local partners collaborated to develop a report card for the Colombian portion of the Orinoco river basin. The report card will help inform management and policy decisions that impact the Orinoco, building a better future for all.
By taking samples of soil, water, snow, or even air, we can access the environmental DNA (or eDNA) that animals naturally shed—like hair, skin, and feces—as they move through their environment. eDNA can then be used to detect endangered species, study the impacts of climate change, alert us to invisible threats such as pathogens, and assess the overall health of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
The ocean provides a bounty of seafood, supporting hundreds of millions of jobs and feeding billions of people. But roughly a quarter of the fish caught globally is done illegally in the shadows, fueling a black market that exploits wildlife, people, and gaps in enforcement of laws. A lack of transparency allows rogue vessels and criminal networks to operate undetected and profit off stolen fish, taking money out of the pockets of people who follow the rules and contributing to declines in ocean health. Ending this black-market trade of seafood is good for nature and people but will require an array of proven tools working in tandem, chief among them is traceability.
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