Partners Involved: Vultures, Peru Ministry of Environment, Gallinazo Avisa
Type of Partnership: Win-Neutral for Public and Planet
Partnership Models: Data Partner, Waste Manager, Educator
The campaign benefits public health and sanitation and prevents pollution. However, it is not directly enriching the lives of vultures, and the elimination of illegal trash dumps reduces one of their food sources.
Lima is known for the flocks of vultures that feed at its four landfills and the countless illegal dumps, where an estimated 20 percent of its trash ends up. Peru has been battling an enormous waste and pollution problem. The 9 million people who live in Lima alone produce more than 8,000 tons of trash a day. Only 20 percent of it goes to the city’s landfills, while the rest ends up on the streets.
The lowly vulture is a dirty scavenger to many, but Peruvian environmental authorities have recast the birds as superheroes and outfitted them with hi-tech gear in a bid to crack down on illegal rubbish dumps.
Ten vultures with mythological names were dispatched to lead authorities to the illegal dumps whose runoff pollutes the rivers and Pacific coastline of the Peruvian capital Lima. Each bird—including Capitan Huggin, Capitana Aella, and Tiamat—is equipped with a solar-powered GPS device, and some have GoPro cameras attached to their chests.
They’re trained to track down garbage scattered throughout the city’s streets. The images and locations are recorded and projected onto a live map. The vultures, which have all been certified disease-free, are trained to fly back to their keepers after each outing. Video footage they take along the way is posted on the Gallinazo Avisa (Vultures Warn) website.
The campaign’s goal is to encourage residents to report areas with illegal dumping and to rally the public and private sectors to come up with long-term goals for solving Lima’s waste problem. People have joined the fight by snapping their own photos and uploading them to the Gallinazo Avisa website.
SDGs Targeted: SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 13 Climate Action
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