From the thriving waters of the Baja California Peninsula to the glacier-capped Andes Mountains in Patagonia, Latin America is known for its remarkable landscapes and wildlife habitat. These extraordinary ecosystems have profound ecological, economic, cultural, and aesthetic value.
Many of these natural places are under threat from industrial projects, pollution, and corporate interests looking to exploit the region’s natural treasures. Hydroelectric dams, fossil fuel extraction, and mining operations have devastated local wildlife, surrounding communities, and the health of entire ecosystems. Efforts to protect the region’s priceless wilderness must also help countries achieve sustainable development goals, grow food, and meet local energy needs.
NRDC has worked in Latin America to protect critical habitat for decades, including:
- Safeguarding Chilean Patagonia’s wildest rivers from destructive hydroelectric dams like the massive HidroAysén complex
- Defending Cabo Pulmo National Park in Mexico, a marine sanctuary for one of the oldest coral reefs in the eastern Pacific Ocean
- Deterring illegal logging of old-growth mahogany in Peru’s Amazon rainforest
- Helping to restore forests in Costa Rica to protect the country’s remarkable biodiversity
- Protecting Laguna San Ignacio in Mexico, the last pristine breeding ground of the Pacific Gray Whale
- Preserving Mexico’s Vaquita Marina, the world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise
We develop strong, on-the-ground partnerships, diving deep into the local context to understand the heart of the problem. We leverage international environmental fora and agreements—including the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, the World Heritage Convention and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance—to push for stronger national protections. We bring a range of tools and international expertise. We look for collaborative solutions when possible, but never shy away from hard-hitting advocacy when necessary.