Ecology Programmes The Paraná-Paraguay River System

Extending 3,400 km from its source in the Brazilian Pantanal, through Bolivia and Paraguay to its end point in Argentina’s Paraná Delta, the Corredor Azul (‘Blue Corridor’) is one of the world’s last remaining examples of a large, free-flowing river system.

Beyond the natural beauty and uniqueness of this river system’s myriad of land and water habitats, it has a global heritage value while its natural functioning is also vital for the future resilience of the region.

On the current development trajectory, driven by governments and private interests pursuing often short-term socio-economic ends, we anticipate witnessing a severe degradation of the region’s biodiversity and environmental security within a couple of decades.

Wetlands International sees an alternative development path for the region. We propose to mobilise efforts to safeguard the Corredor Azul as an ecological, social and economic asset for the entire region. This will be achieved by enabling the values of the river and wetland system to come to the fore, and by building on a number of promising development initiatives. We will catalyse a long-term process that continues well beyond the 10 years, stimulating others to engage and invest for the long term.

An important geographic focus of the programme will be to work locally, to safeguard and enhance three large iconic wetlands – the Pantanal, the Iberá Marshes and the Paraná Delta, while we work simultaneously to ensure that the entire river corridor is sustained and protected as a free-flowing, dynamic wetland system.

Over 10 years we will make a significant difference on the ground to safeguard nature and enhance the livelihoods of people along the Corredor Azul. Local communities will be connected, informed and inspired to implement best practices that contribute to wetland conservation locally and across the three iconic wetland areas. Key sites will be protected and management plans will be adopted and implemented. Entrepreneurs who demonstrate sustainable business approaches will be supported to help them scale up their innovations. Governments and private companies will champion the maintenance of Corredor Azul’s natural values as a foundation for sustainable development and climate change adaptation.

By the end of this programme some 1 million hectares of wetlands will be under sustainable management and production in 300,000 hectares will be guided by best production practices that avoid wetland degradation and loss. Securing the health and connectivity of the system will avoid unsustainable river management practices and provide resilience to climate change, safeguarding many millions of people from impacts such as flooding and water polution.


This programme will be executed by Wetlands International Latin America & the Caribbean.



Key features

Landscape  Corredor Azul: 3400 kilometers long river system, in the La Plata Basin
  It includes the biggest freshwater wetlands on the planet
  Home to over 20 million people
Goals for the next 2 years  Management plan for Kadiweu Indigenous Reserve (539.000 hectares)
  60.000 additional hectares of wetlands under sustainable management
  Management plan for new Ramsar Site “Delta del Parana” (240.000 hectares)
  100 new wetland managers trained
  Participation of 15 community-based organisations
  Identification of ancestral practices and traditional uses of wetlands