Life line

History of the Southern Cone Grasslands Alliance



BirdLife International, with its partners in the Americas, identified the need to protect the habitat of migratory birds between the North American prairies and the South American pampas.


A collaboration between BirdLife’s four partners in the Southern Cone of South America – Aves Argentina, Aves Uruguay, SAVE Brasil and Guyra Paraguay – and organizations in North America begins developing the South American grasslands conservation initiative.


The first South American regional initiative for the conservation of natural grasslands is born: “Southern Cone Grasslands Alliance”. The aim is to protect the pampas grasslands that stretch across an area of ​​100 million hectares in Paraguay (4%), Uruguay (18%), Brazil (18%) and Argentina (60%).


The first “Ranchers’ Gathering” was held in Bage, Brazil: a meeting between conservationists and farmers that marked the beginnings of a fruitful relationship and is set to become an annual event.

1er encuentro


Through an agreed consensus a “vision” for the Alliance was established and all member organizations were invited to adhere to it. This year’s Ranchers’ Gathering was held in Santa Fe, Argentina and was attended by conservationists and producers from the four member countries


A Board of Directors for the Alliance was established and is composed of representatives from the four member countries, who work across various sectors and bring different expertise. The third Ranchers’ Gathering was held in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay.


Sello Carnes del Pastizal_final_bThe Alliance begins developing a new certification system for environmentally-friendly beef produced from cattle reared on natural grasslands in the Southern Cone. The aim is to create an eco-label that differentiates beef produced by farmers that preserve at least 50% of their natural grasslands and rear grass-fed cattle, as apposed to confined cattle fed of soy or grain. The fourth Ranchers’ Gathering was held in La Paloma, Uruguay and includes delegates from the Northern Hemisphere.


The institutional aspects of the Alliance continue to be develop, in terms of the organization’s operating regulations, membership system and wide participation of the public and private sectors. The fifth Ranchers’ Gathering takes place in Lavras do Sul, Brazil and is attended by over 300 delegates.


The Alliances launches the project ‘Incentives for conservation of natural grasslands in the Southern Cone’, with the support of the InterAmerican Development Bank. The first certified beef with the Grasslands Alliance eco-label is available to consumers in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina, where the sixth Ranchers’ Gathering is held.


The Alliance consolidates many achievements, such as obtaining legal status, certifying beef from natural grasslands under the Protocol of the Grasslands Alliance, increasing the number of member institutions, and producing best practice manuals for farmers to help them manage their grasslands in an environmentally-friendly way. The seventh Ranchers’ Gathering is held in the town of San Ignacio, Paraguay.