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Our Partners are carefully selected due to their high conservation impact

Appeal Snapshot


Defensores de la Naturaleza


Guatemala, Latin America

  • Community Support and Development
  • Wildlife Conservation
  • Protected Area Management
Date Founded:


Partner Qualifications:
  • IUCN Member
    A distinguished Member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. IUCN Members are each vetted and voted on based on an independent, rigorous assessment and external references. Learn More
  • Legally Constituted
    This organization is formally constituted and is a legally recognized non-profit in its country of origin.

About Defensores de la Naturaleza

Defensores de la Naturaleza is the formal environmental organization with the longest history in Guatemala, having been managing and carrying out conservation activities for more than 40 years. Their work has contributed to the conservation of 80% of the Guatemalan flora and fauna species, as well as the management of more than 87 watersheds that supply water to more than 500,000 inhabitants. They are currently responsible for the protection and management of 4 protected areas in the country: Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve, Bocas del Polochic Wildlife Refuge, Sierra del Lacandón National Park, and United Nations National Park. These areas are home to much threatened biodiversity, including the Guatemalan fir, the Yucatán black howler monkey, the Jaguar, the Horned guan, the American manatee, and the Resplendent quetzal.

Their Challenges

Forest fires are one of the main threats to the degradation of ecosystems and biodiversity in the protected areas that Defensores de la Naturaleza co-manages. For this reason, accessing continuous funding to carry out forest fire monitoring and control, especially during the dry season, has become one of their main challenges. Another key focus is to persist in their biological monitoring endeavors, aiming for a conservation model rooted in evidence and data. Simultaneously, their ongoing efforts involve exploring avenues to assist communities residing near protected areas in adapting to climate change. This encompasses initiatives such as promoting water access, implementing ecosystem-based adaptation strategies, establishing agroforestry systems, and providing support to local associations, all of which have their unique challenges.

Their Approach

Defensores de la Naturaleza adheres to five strategic pillars of action to achieve their goals:

  1. Climate Action and Resilience: Promoting effective initiatives that contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change and enable local populations to adapt and be resilient in the long term
  2. Natural Areas and Biodiversity: Establishing measures that contribute to the management and protection of areas crucial for the conservation of biological diversity
  3. Environmental Education and Awareness: Supporting the teaching-learning process to strengthen capacities, generate positive attitude changes, and instill environmental care in future generations
  4. Organizational Development: Focusing on achieving the optimal functioning of the organization by ensuring the alignment of processes, the efficiency of program execution, and the management of human talent
  5. Citizen Advocacy: Seeking to influence decision-making spaces at national and international levels, connecting with individuals and organizations dedicated to the conservation and protection of the environment

Why They Need Your Help

Defensores de la Naturaleza plays a crucial role in safeguarding Guatemala's biodiversity. The Protected Areas they manage represent 5% of the Guatemalan territory, supporting over 400 communities dependent on the provided natural resources. Sustaining the protection and effective management of these biodiverse regions requires ongoing financial support for professional salaries and expertise, proper equipment maintenance, expanded research initiatives, improved research stations, and the continuous creation of communication materials to raise national awareness about the environment's significance.

Conservation Allies charges no overhead fees or administration costs meaning 100% of your donation goes directly to Defensores de la Naturaleza. All donations made from the United States are fully tax-deductible.