The Southern Cone Conservation Leadership Initiative (SCCL) is an interdisciplinary iniative of UF’s Tropical Conservation and Development Program (TCD) that promotes development of future conservation leaders in southern South America and advances biodiversity conservation, management of parks and reserves, and sustainable resource use in this region.

The Southern Cone of South America, comprised of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, has a spectacular diversity of landscapes and fish and wildlife resources, many of which are severely threaten by human activities. At the same time, the economic base of Southern Cone countries depends on natural resources – productive grazing lands, water and soils for agriculture, national parks, and abundant fisheries resources. The conservation challenges facing the Southern Cone are greatly exacerbated by a shortage of trained conservationists to address these complex and rapidly growing challenges.

SCCL links with partner organizations in the Southern Cone to train graduate students and conservation professionals, build conservation programs in universities in the Southern Cone, and conduct integrated training and research that serves as a platform for informed policy and management for biodiversity, wildlands, and sustainable resource use.


The mission of the Southern Cone Conservation Leadership Initiative is to train conservation leaders and build capacity of local organizations to conserve biodiversity, manage natural resources sustainably, and maintain ecological services that promote human well-being in southern South America.

To accomplish this mission, the Southern Cone Conservation Leadership Initiative:

  • Facilitates graduate and professional training in conservation and natural resource management at the University of Florida for individuals with leadership ability from the Southern Cone.
  • Aids Southern Cone universities in developing their own capacity to train conservation leaders.
  • Collaborates with universities and other institutions in the Southern Cone to advance problem-focused research and conservation planning in support of policy and management of biodiversity, wildlands, and sustainable resource use.