The increasingly frequent drought periods in the dry plains of Córdoba present enormous challenges for our employees of the Sanctuary Equidad. With the aim of achieving greater autonomy, sustainability and professionalism, the operation has been restructured in collaboration with an expert group.
In the dry plains of Córdoba, global warming is not just a feeling – it is a daily reality. Our employees, who are responsible for several dozen herbivores – an adult horse or cow consumes about 20 kilograms of fodder or grass per day – are confronted with this reality every day. When the rain fails to come, water sources dry up, and grass and forage no longer grow. We are not the only ones concerned: in light of the increase in drought periods, the Argentine government has declared a state of emergency. Not even the most remote place remains unaffected.
Soil Degradation and Supply Problems Certainly, we have not been hit the hardest: thanks to the generosity of our donors, Fondation Franz Weber was able to acquire a 312-hectare piece of land in spring 2021, which has become a true haven of peace for our diverse animals. Thanks to its size, we are able to minimize overgrazing; however, the property still suffers. Soil productivity has reached its limit, and our employees are paying the price. When grass becomes scarce, ensuring the supply of feed for the approximately two hundred herbivores under our care becomes a true challenge.
To address this problem, Fondation Franz Weber was compelled to establish an advisory board comprising experts from various fields – scientists, politicians, specialists in animal welfare and environmental protection. After evaluation, the participants reached a consensus that enabled the Sanctuary Equidad to receive immediate assistance in the form of financial resources and personnel restructuring.
New Horizons As a result of the evaluation, a new team has taken over the management. Their goal is to ensure the continuity of the work carried out by their predecessors. The existing employees will continue to participate in the projects as advisors. With this restructuring, we hope to professionalize the management of the sanctuary because, in addition to our dedicated volunteers and staff, we can now rely on the permanent support of biologists and veterinarians. This will allow us to raise our current standards even further and, most importantly, develop the ability to cope with drought periods by achieving autonomy and sustainability.
Investments The restructuring requires significant investments primarily aimed at further promoting Equidad’s strengths. Currently, we are working on procedures to more efficiently utilize solar energy and sustainably manage our water resources. Our goals are not limited to the sanctuary: the new team has also taken on the task of restoring the damaged ecosystem of the mountains. This area is considered one of the last remnants of the Chaco Serrano region, which has suffered considerable damage due to its previous use as grazing land.
Our approach adopts a holistic approach, prioritizing the safety and well-being of our wards. However, this should not come at the expense of the native flora and fauna, which we aim to preserve permanently.