GNF - Pantanal Project

Pantanal – Protection of the World’s largest Wetland



The Pantanal Wetland covers an area of 140,000 sq. km and is world’s largest inland wetland. The landscape is characterised by numerous lakes, rivers and ponds and is located along evergreen rain forests, dry forests and savannahs. Due to the occurrence of 665 different birds, 265 fish species, 123 mammals and over 1.700 plant species the Brazilians call the Pantanal wetland their "Garden of Eden“. The most famous inhabitants of the wetland are Jaguar, Ocelot und Yacare Caiman.


But this paradise is threatened by the dramatic destruction of widespread wetland areas as a consequence of monoculture farming, intensive cattle breeding, gold and diamond mines and increased ethanol production. For quite some time now, ourpartner organisation Ecotrópica has tried to show farmers alternatives to the use of pesticides and fertilizers.


Ecotrópica currently owns four farms on the edge of the Pantanal National Park with a total area of 60,000 ha and forming Brazil’s largest private protected area. The Brazilian government has recognized the area as Private Natural Heritage Preservation (RPPN). In 2000, these areas as well as the Pantanal National Park became UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Project Implementation

Further areas are to be converted into protected zones to create urgently needed corridors for migrant birds. Additionally, it is planned to further implement the sustainable managing plan for the already existing reserves. It is intended to develop and implement adequate protection measures for the protection of threatened species such as Jaguar and Hyacinth Macaw: Protected areas are important as retreat areas for a large number of animal and plant species, thus playing an important role for the whole ecosystem.


Environmental education measures as well as lobby and PR work will be carried out to increase the awareness of the local people and beyond the frontiers. Since November 2007, the travelling exhibition "Pantanal – A nature paradise in danger“ has been presented in nine zoos in Germany and has already been booked for further exhibition locations.


This project was sponsored by Deutsche Lufthansa in the scope of the "Miles to Help“ programme as well as by the Foundation Ursula Merz.


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Pantanal Wetland in Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia – Land Purchase and Protection in World’s largest Wetland


November 2006 – June 2010




Deutsche Lufthansa "Miles to Help", Foundation Ursula Merz