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World Wetlands Day 2024: Valeria Inés Enderle on Exploring Wetland Conservation Challenges Through a Gender Perspective

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Valeria Inés Enderle is the Executive Director of Fundación CAUCE: Cultura Ambiental, Causa Ecologista who is passionate about environment conservation, especially the wetlands of Paraná City in Entre Rios province, Argentina. Fundación CAUCE works on the restoration, water management and community-based ecotourism of the wetlands. She holds a Master’s in Environmental Law and Urban Planning. She is a Specialist in Environmental Law and the Protection of Cultural Heritage. Women4Biodiversity caught up with Valeria for a quick interview on World Wetlands Day 2024 to talk about the importance of wetland conservation and the role of women in it. You can follow her on LinkedIn and X.

Why do you think conserving wetlands is important?

I believe the conservation of the planet is important for our present and our future. We have destroyed a large part of the planet. Conserving and restoring nature is a task that has benefits for our health, nutrition and emotional well-being. Conserving wetlands is important because they are a source of our food and a refuge for biodiversity. They provide and purify fresh water, they collaborate in the fight against climate change because they store carbon, and they allow the development of corridors of culture and traditions.

How does the involvement of women in wetland conservation and restoration initiatives help? Do you see the need for gender-sensitive policies and practices to be integrated into wetlands management?

Women carry out care tasks not only in our homes and with our families but also in our environment. It is important to recognize these contributions and to pay attention to the work women can play a part in the development of public policies. However, the challenges go hand in hand, which is the invisibility of the task of caring for the environment and the absence of participation in public policy decisions. Yes, it is very necessary to integrate gender-sensitive policies and practices in wetland management. The participation of women in wetland conservation and restoration initiatives helps by providing another perspective, another type of action that carries tenderness and feminine strength at the same time.

The challenges [for women] go hand in hand, which is the invisibility of the task of caring for the environment and the absence of participation in public policy decisions.

What is the urgent need to conserve and restore Parana Wetlands right now?

There is an urgency to conserve and restore the Paraná Wetlands at this time due to real estate development, pollution surrounding it and in some spaces the invasion of exotic species.

Could you tell us about any current project that you are working on?

We are working on wetland conservation from a natural and cultural perspective through the formation of a biocultural corridor called Dos Orillas. This corridor covers the wetlands west of the city of Paraná to the Enrique Berduc rural park on the coast of Paraná and from Alto Verde to Arroyo Leyes on the coast of Santa Fe.

Lastly, what keeps you motivated in this line of work?

The energy of the people who make up the biocultural corridor keeps us motivated despite the serious political, economic and social situation that exists in Argentina.

A scenic view of the wetlands in Paraná City

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