News

WFN & IPÊ: A Shared History

WFN & Brazilian NGO IPÊ celebrate 25 years of partnership

In 2018 WFN celebrated its 25th Anniversary and 25 years of partnership with Brazilian NGO, IPÊ, founded by winner Claudio Padua. An early supporter of IPÊ’s flagship project to conserve the black lion tamarin, 25 years later the species is in recovery and IPÊ has become one of the country’s largest environmental NGOs overseeing 40 projects in five states. Both WFN and IPÊ have grown together, and we are proud of our shared history. Our patron, HRH The Princess Royal has even visited their Headquarters to see their work, first-hand.

With WFN funding, 1.4 million trees have been planted by local communities to create a 700ha corridor – Brazil’s largest – connecting Atlantic Forest habitat for tamarins. As a result of this work led by 2002 winner Laury Cullen, these primates were down-listed from Critically Endangered to Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

In 2014, WFN’s Director Danni Parks visited three separate IPE projects in person. Apart from visiting Claudio and Laury, Danni also travelled to the Pantanal – the largest continuous wetland in the world – to meet 2008 winner Patricia Medici. Patricia and her team gather scientific data to further understand lowland tapir ecology and advocate for the development and implementation of biome-based Action Plans for tapirs and their habitat in Brazil. Danni also spent time with giant armadillo conservationist Arnaud Desbiez, who went on to win a Whitley Award in 2015 for his work to preserve this enigmatic, rare species. Read more about Danni’s visit here.

Today IPÊ conservationists collaborate with fellow members of WFN’s network such as 2015 winner Rosamira Guillen (pictured below) who is working with Colombia’s cotton-top tamarins using similar approaches to restore and connect habitat as those proven by IPÊ. Staff from both projects have visited each other on the ground as part of a two-way exchange funded by WFN to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practice between NGOs in order to safeguard these South American primates.

As our two organisations continue to grow, we look forward to a future of continued collaboration, and increased knowledge sharing amongst an ever-growing network of Whitley Alumni in the region.