Partnership formed to protect endangered habitats in Mexico, Sou - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Partnership formed to protect endangered habitats in Mexico, South America

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego Zoo Global and Del Mar-based Nature and Culture International announced Wednesday a partnership to preserve sensitive ecosystems in Mexico and South America.

The initial project is aimed at preserving 1.3 million acres, including the Maijuna Regional Reserve in Peru, the Sierra de Alamos in Mexico, the

Cazaderos Forest Reserve in Ecuador, the Choco Conservation Corridor in Colombia and Seeding the Future -- an initiative to prepare millions of additional acres for protection.

"By combining the expertise and efforts of our two organizations, we begin a pioneering conservation partnership that addresses the needs of both humans and wild animals," said Rick Gulley, president of San Diego Zoo Global, the new name of the San Diego Zoological Society. "Our initial projects in Mexico, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia will enhance the whole ecosystem focus that Nature and Culture International has used so effectively to conserve plant and animal species in partnership with local people."

Nature and Culture International has been working on environmental issues with governments in developing nations for 15 years, resulting in the conservation of 7.7 million acres of rain forest and other habitats in South America.

Leaders of the organization, according to its website, believe that habitats cannot survive where people are poor and culturally fractured. Conversely, the human life can't continue without healthy ecosystems.

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