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Five
decades
Conserving
the future
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Fiftieth Aniversary

The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico

Manifest 2021

The islands of Puerto Rico, with their warm tropical climate, are endowed with a great biological diversity that is nourished by the variety of their soils —volcanic, alluvial and karst—, from aquifers to the north and south, from the trade winds that cool and oceans teeming with marine life. The people who live here are part of this wealth and adorn it with a happy and caring Caribbean culture.

After 50 years of protecting the most sensitive ecological areas in order to sustain biological diversity on these islands, Para la Naturaleza recognizes that the proportion of land protected —16% of its territory and 24% of its coastal and marine areas— it is not enough to stop the climatic, ecological and human deterioration that we are experiencing.

Nature is responding to our aggressions. The most recent extreme events – hurricanes, earthquakes and the pandemic – are clear messages that motivate us to examine the premises and transform the foundations of our economic and social systems. Only then can we find a new direction to change our destiny.

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We believe that in the great vital web that is the natural world, the life of all beings sustains that of others. We affirm that our primary responsibility is to recognize and nurture these ties and that there should be no human development at their expense.
 
We believe in the ability of every human being to participate in a life of full coexistence, based on equity among all species, and on the well-being of ecosystems and habitats.
 
We believe in a life system that only subsists and is regenerated by the co-existence of all species, and in a system of values ​​and rights that reflects and treasures the fundamental principles of this diversity and interdependence.

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We want (at least) 33% of the ecosystems of the islands of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean to enjoy full protection, in order to enjoy open spaces for recreation and fertile lands for agroecological production.
 
We want islands where the historical and cultural legacy are well known and respected, these are a complete record of our successes and errors, and an accurate guide to a better future.
 
We want healthy islands capable of sustaining our wellbeing with food grown without detriment to the land and its other inhabitants, islands accessible through trails that promote recreation, sports and exercises and that allow us to enjoy their great beauty.
 
We want our communities and our families to be the central axis of our collective well-being, becoming the source — and not the recipients — of sustainable growth, guided by equity and solidarity. This is how we achieve peace.
 
We want an ecological culture that teaches all human beings to respect the integrity of all ecological systems and to live in balance with our biodiversity.
 
We want a different legal-constitutional system that recognizes the inherent rights of other living beings and that establishes the foundations that guide the coexistence among all.

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Our current actions and daily life threaten the existence of life on the planet as we know it. This manifesto commits to a change of course. We are running out of time. We hope to achieve it.

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