In a groundbreaking show of international conservation, three South American countries have all signed a landmark agreement to preserve the Pantanal.

The Pantanal is a 42-million acre stretch of wetlands that harbors over 4,700 plant and animal species. The land is also an essential source of valuable resources for humans living in proximity to the Pantanal, which include residents of Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay.

That’s why the trio of nations signed the Declaration for the Conservation, Integrated and Sustainable Development of the Pantanal this week.

The agreement means that all three countries will share the responsibility of protecting, preserving, and ensuring safe development of the Pantanal during the coming decades.

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The World Wildlife Fund, who assisted in orchestrating the pledge, applauded the historic agreement.

“By signing the Declaration … Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay recognize their shared responsibility to steward this vital resource,” says the organization. “Together they’re ensuring that development of this beautiful and essential wetland is balanced with the needs of the environment and people.”

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(Photo by Andre Dib / WWF)