The Government of Guyana is pleased to support a new initiative to save the jaguar (Panthera onca). In an unprecedented global commitment to saving the jaguar, key jaguar range states and leading international conservation organisations joined together to launch the Jaguar 2030 Conservation Roadmap for the Americas, which was presented on the side of the Conference of Parties (COP) 14 of the Convention on Biological Diversity currently being held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
The roadmap aims to strengthen the Jaguar Corridor, ranging from Mexico to Argentina, by securing 30-priority jaguar conservation landscapes by the year 2030. This bold, regionally-focused initiative will pave a new path to strengthen international cooperation and awareness for jaguar protection initiatives, including those mitigating human-jaguar conflict and connecting and protecting jaguar habitats, and stimulate sustainable development opportunities, such as eco-tourism, that support the well-being of communities and indigenous peoples coexisting with this species.
Jaguar conservation transcends the intent of safeguarding a single species. Successful jaguar conservation maintains forests, carbon, biodiversity, watersheds, and national and cultural heritage.
Odacy Davis, Deputy Commissioner of the Protected Areas Commission, on behalf of Guyana, welcomed the new initiative and indicated Guyana’s commitment to the process, noting that the pathways proposed in the roadmap will lend to further conservation of the species, and enable the country to address increasing threats. She further stressed the importance for the inclusive participation and sharing of best practices among range countries and partners.
Also at the launch, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Panthera and Government representatives announced the creation of the first-ever International Jaguar Day to be celebrated annually on November 29. This day will raise awareness about threats facing the jaguar, conservation efforts ensuring its survival and the role of the jaguar as a keystone species whose presence is indicative of a healthy ecosystem – the foundation for a sustainable future for wildlife and people alike.
The launch of this roadmap was preceded by a high-level forum held in New York on March 1, 2018, where 14 jaguar range countries, international and national partner organisations, launched the Jaguar 2030 New York Statement at the United Nations headquarters.
Minister of State Joseph Harmon in his comments at the high level forum stated that “the jaguar represents much more than just an animal; it is a part of a way of life of our people.”
The New York Statement recognises 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 Department of Environment and its agencies – Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission, Protected Areas Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency – will continue to contribute to the finalisation of the roadmap and its implementation in the Americas.