colombia pavilion expo 2020
Colombia Pavilion invited visitors to take part in jaguar conservation efforts on Monday Image Credit: Supplied

The Colombia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai observed International Jaguar Day on Monday, November 29, with a programme of talks and exhibitions to raise awareness about the increasing threats facing the big cat.

Using immersive exhibitions, the pavilion showcased the work of Conexión Jaguar. Created in 2016 by Colombia-based energy giant ISA Group and conservation organisations Panthera and South Pole, Conexión Jaguar uses carbon credits to fund the restoration and conservation of jaguar habitat in South America, while supporting the landowners and communities who live there.

visitors colombia pavilion expo 2020
Visitors to the pavilion got to colour a comic mural on the day Image Credit: Supplied

Juliana Suso Jaramillo, Chief of Corporate Affairs, ISA Group, told Gulf News in an interview: “The largest cat in the Americas is very essential for maintaining a healthy ecosystem. The more the jaguars, the better the health of the ecosystem.

“It is estimated that Latin America alone has around 150,000 jaguars, however, 6,000 jaguars are being killed every year as a result of habitat destruction and illegal hunting. So, it is essential to counter the threats to jaguars, connect the jaguar corridor and protect its population, also to maintain a healthy ecosystem.”

ISA Group, Panthera and South Pole have worked to establish a Jaguar Corridor that runs from Mexico to Chile, covering about six million square kilometres.

colombia pavilion expo 2020
LED display on the pavilion reads 'Protecting the Jaguar' Image Credit: Supplied

“Climate change and deforestation are among the biggest threats to jaguars, as it affects the natural habitat of the animal and affects its reproduction,” added Jaramillo. “[But we need them to] protect the biodiversity, water and forests, and ensure the survival of coexisting species and their associated habitats.”

The jaguar is an icon for sustainable development and the centuries-old cultural heritage of Central America and South America.