Newsletter +++ April May 2022 +++

Landau, June 3, 2022


+++Meeting with the Minister of Environment+++

In the middle of April Nancy Duman and Karen Quezada met the new Minister of Environment of the Coquimbo Region Leonardo Gros Pérez to talk about the marine protected area (AMCP-MU) and other current projects. The Ministry is presently waiting for the Atacama region to prepare all the documents for a joint application as "biregional marine protected area". After completion of the preparations, a joint effort will be made to enforce the protection zone. Señor Leonardo Gros Pérez. agreed to organize and execute the scientific meeting on the situation of the Humboldt Archipelago, which is scheduled for October together with SPHENISCO. Moreover, the proposed environmental education in the schools of the municipality of La Higuera will also be supported by the Ministry, possibly through certification. The Humboldt penguin is an emblematic species for Chile, but specifically for the Coquimbo region and should be given more priority. It was considered to create a day of the Humboldt Penguin and to organize it accordingly. 

+++Meeting with the New Minister of Real Estate+++.

Señor Marcelo Salazar, Minister of National Properties (Seremi Bienes Nacionales) informed Nancy Duman and Karen Quezada in a conversation that all breeding islands of the planned protected area are national properties. The question whether the lease of the site for the port to Andes Iron (Dominga Project) was legal, although the environmental impact assessment had not been completed at the time of the lease, was answered in the affirmative by Señor Salazar. Once again this makes clear how administrative regulations based on the "Pinochet Constitution" of 1980 additionally favor economic interests.

+++Application to Municipality of La Higuera+++

Alianza Humboldt has suggested to Yerko Galleguillos, mayor of La Higuera, to give presentations on the development of the region, unfavorable projects as well as proposals for sustainable projects and to discuss possible cooperation with the municipality. The mayor and the municipal council accepted the offer. A date for the debate has not been reached so far.

+++Photo Exhibitions at 21 Schools+++

In Chile, World Penguin Day was celebrated with the opening of the touring exhibition "Humboldt Penguin: Emblematic Species of the Coquimbo Region" (for more information, see the article "World Penguin Day on April 25, 2022" on this page). The aim of the photo exhibition is to make residents of the Coquimbo region aware of the existence of this penguin species, its characteristics and behavior. After all, 80% of the remaining population of Humboldt penguins live in the Humboldt Archipelago, which is part of the La Serena / Coquimbo region.

The premiere was at the Javiera Carrera School in La Serena. In the meantime, the exhibition has already been shown in three other schools in the city. Until December, the exhibition will be shown in as many as 21 schools. The presentations, which will be given on one to two days, are each combined with information events in which the importance and endangerment of the Humboldt Archipelago are presented. The touring exhibition is sponsored by the Tierparkvereinigung Neumünster e.V..

+++Meeting with the Minister of Environment+++.
On behalf of the Alianza Humboldt, SPENISCO has requested a meeting with María Rojas C., the new Minister of Environment of the Boric government. The Minister is to be personally informed about the threats to the Humboldt Archipelago and the plans for a marine protected area. Other members of the Alianza should also to attend the meeting, especially representatives of artisanal fishermen.

+++Escazú Agreement+++
In his first week in office, President Boric signed a bill to authorize Chile to enter the Escazú Agreement. On May 11 the bill was approved by the Chamber of Deputies and on May 31 the Chilean Senate ratified the first United Nations environmental agreement to get access to environmental information and environmental justice with 31 votes in favor, three against, and 11 abstentions.
The Escazú Agreement was voted in at the proposal of the United Nations on March 4, 2018 in the Costarican city of the same name. The international agreement regulates rights to get access to information about the environment, public participation in environmental decision-making, environmental justice, and a healthy and sustainable environment for present and future generations. The agreement especially intends to provide protection for environmental activists in Latin America and the Caribbean. 
Currently, it has been signed by 25 countries and has already become law in twelve of them. The Boric government and environmentalists hope that with the help of the Escazú Agreement extensive access to information and effective citizen participation in environmental problems will be achieved. The agreement is intended to be an instrument for resolving socio-environmental conflicts through negotiation before they end up in court. The Dominga case serves as an example of how much Chile needs new ways of conflict resolution.

+++Corte Suprema+++
The Supreme Court has rejected the complaints of citizens and environmental organizations against the Dominga mining and port project and assigned the matter to the Committee of Ministers (see article "Corte Suprema decides not to decide").


+++Environmental Education in Peru+++

Currently, Acorema is preparing a proposal for another section of the educational project "Queremos vivir" ("We want to live"). Acorema and SPHENISCO agree that the established measures in southern Peru should be continued and be extended to additional regions.

It is the aim of "Queremos vivir" to improve awareness of this penguin species and its habitat, and to sensitize citizens that it is necessary to treat endangered species and the environment with care. The target groups are primarily preschools and elementary schools, their teachers and public administrations.

+++Research "Breeding success on the Ballestas, Peru? "+++

In April, Acorema briefly reported on the project "Breeding success on the Ballestas?" (see also article on this page).


+++Species Protection Day Frankfurt Zoo+++

On April 10, more than 4,000 visitors attended the Species Protection Day at the Frankfurt Zoo. It was the biggest event since the beginning of the pandemic. The drastic loss of biodiversity is now being recognized in countless species and thus various associations presented their projects with great response. SPHENISCO was also present and informed at a booth about the current threats to the Humboldt penguins and projects for their protection in Chile and Peru.

For a podcast, in which the Zoo’s species and conservation goals, the diverse projects and approaches of the Frankfurt Zoological Society, Marco Dinter, conservation officer at Frankfurt Zoo, interviewed Nicole Kambeck about SPHENISCO's activities.

There was a large crowd at the Humboldt penguin compound and visitors were asking many questions about the threat and conservation options. (Nicole Kambeck)

+++World Penguin Day 2022+++

For more information see the article "World Penguin Day on April 25, 2022" on this page.

+++Wheel of Fortune for Humboldt Penguins+++

The Zoom adventure park in Gelsenkirchen – operator: Stadtwerke Gelsenkirchen - dedicated a special day to the Humboldt penguins on the occasion of the World Penguin Day. Besides offering numerous information and actions, many donations were collected with a wheel of fortune. Many thanks for all the commitment and donations.

+++Wine plus Art plus Species Conservation+++

The best things come in threes. After the film "Help the Humboldts - Message in a bottle" (in 5 languages) by Nicole Bertram and the "virtual penguin wine tasting" by Gabriele and Werner Knauf, "wine lover" Stefan Griess has now also discovered the project "wine plus art plus species conservation" and made a video with the Ramsels in Kirrweiler.

+++Cuddle Penguins+++

SPHENISCO received a special gift from Mrs. Elke Ladwig. Mrs. Ladwig has been a member of the Zoological Society for Species and Population Conservation (ZGAP), a partner of SPHENISCO, for many years. For a couple of years she has been knitting beautiful, detailed cuddle animals with great creativity and diligence to support the "Zoo Animal of the Year" campaign. Now SPHENISCO also benefited from Ms. Ladwig's knitting skills (see photo). The cuddly-soft Humboldt penguins were the eye-catcher at the association's information booth at the Species Conservation Day at Frankfurt Zoo and also at the World Penguin Day at Landau Zoo. The cuddle penguins can be acquired for 25 euros, which goes entirely to support the work of the association. A great idea! Thank you very much, Mrs. Ladwig, for your generous support!

+++Species Protection Euro+++

This year, the mountain zoo Halle has also introduced a so-called ZooEuro to support species conservation activities among other things. SPHENISCO is one of the selected species protection partners. The mountain zoo is a founding member of the association and has continuously supported the activities since then. Since the zoological gardens in Dresden, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Landau, Rostock, the birdpark Marlow as well as the Zoo Neumünster also support the work of SPHENISCO with funds from the nature conservation resp. species protection Euro, the association was able to  expand the educational and public relations work in Chile and Peru significantly and additionally launch large research projects in both Humboldt penguin countries.

+++Create Space with Heart+++

At the end of May, Claudia Wirth reported about SPHENISCO currently ranking 7th on the voting list of the campaign "Platz schaffen mit Herz". The campaign is a non-profit initiative which supports social projects around the world by reselling old clothes.

Rank 7 is absolutely phenomenal and SPHENISCO has a very good chance to be among the 100 donation recipients. This would mean a donation in the amount of 500 euros. However, after voting will be running until 02 August 2022, it is still tremendously important that penguin friends at home clean out their wardrobes and send packages to "Make room with heart" to secure and strengthen place 7. Together we can do it! (see more articles under „News“ on this page).

+++Penguin Museum Cuxhaven+++

Last year the Penguin Museum generated revenues despite the Corona-related restrictions. At their annual general meeting the members of the museum association decided unanimously to support SPHENISCO again with Euro 1,000.- for the protection of the species.

A cordial thank you to all donors and committed supporters!


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