Marking one year of environmental news reporting in Latin America

Red howler monkey in the Peruvian Amazon. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the official launch of Mongabay-Latam, our Spanish-language environmental news service for Latin America.

Mongabay-Latam is off to a great start, exceeding all our internal goals for its first twelve months. To date, the team — 6 full-time staff in Peru and 35 corespondents in 11 countries — has produced more than 600 original articles, including a number of major features on topics ranging from oil spills in the Amazon to wildlife trafficking in Colombia and Peru to the use of cattle ranches to launder drug money in Central America. The reporting has also won critical acclaim: in November 2016 two of Mongabay-Latam’s stories were selected among the five finalists of 122 nominees for the National Journalism Award, Peru’s equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize.

Mongabay-Latam’s reporting is getting wide readership. In the past year we’ve had 1.33 million visits to the site and added more than 40,000 fans on our Facebook page, which has an average weekly reach of 700,000. Importantly we’re also reaching audiences beyond our site via syndication partnerships with 15 media outlets in nine countries, including last month’s alliance with Publimetro, which plans to distribute our content in the nine newspapers it has in the region.

Protecting ecosystems across Latin America is critical. The region boasts the world’s highest levels of biodiversity and most extensive tropical forests. It’s also a hotspot for new ideas and innovations in conservation, including forest monitoring systems, recognition of indigenous and traditional land tenure, and adoption of technology. We’re proud to be helping raise environmental awareness and create enabling conditions for NGOs and scientists.

Special thanks to our supporters as well as our Latam team: Alexa Vélez Zuazo, Joaquin Ortiz Rivarola, Lorena Flores Agüero, MariaIsabel Torres, Milton López Tarabochia, and Romina Castagnino.

Header photo: sea lion in the Galapagos. Photo by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay.