Belen: You are doing work that is at the forefront of the conservation of jaguars. And it is important to us at IFC that we can support renewable energy and also demonstrably protect biodiversity in this way. Revantazon has helped Costa Rica become a country that runs on nearly 100% renewable energy. There are so many different aspects that make this really special.
Stephanny: It is great to see how different organizations with perhaps different interests are working together to identify the impact of such a project on jaguars and all the other wildlife species in the area.
Belen: What is your favorite story?
“It is important to us at IFC that we can support renewable energy and also demonstrably protect biodiversity. ” – Belen Castuera
Stephanny: It’s meaningful to work with communities, so they can protect the animals living near them. In Tortuguero, a national park in Costa Rica, sometimes we had situations where people wanted to get close to a jaguar when they saw one, and that worried us. Then we started to give presentations to explain the importance of not disturbing the jaguars and their habitat. We have seen that over time that people behave differently – respecting the jaguar when they see one, not wanting to go near it or take a picture of it, and even passing me the data when they are aware of a jaguar’s presence. I get messages on WhatsApp saying ‘Stephanny, I saw this jaguar at night, at this time.’ Or when they see footprints on the beach they say ‘Stephanny, I saw this in case the data is useful.’
Belen: Technology is amazing. A few years ago receiving a WhatsApp of a photo of a jaguar footprint would be unthinkable, really.
Stephanny: It has helped us a lot and it’s very gratifying to see the improved trust between communities and wild cats living around them. They are neighbors after all.