UPM opens visitor centre in its EARU conservation area in Río Negro, Uruguay

Local news 6.10.2023 9:00 EEST


(UPM, Paysandú, 6 October 2023) – UPM has inaugurated its new visitor centre in the Esteros y Algarrobales del Río Uruguay (EARU) conservation area in the department of Río Negro – guests included national authorities, the mayor of Río Negro, Omar Lafluf, and representatives of Uruguay’s National System of Protected Areas. 

The new visitor centre enables the reception of visitor groups who are interested in touring the area and its rich environment. The centre also includes facilities with research equipment for use by researchers and arranging on-site meetings. 

“Today is a day of celebration because we open the doors of the Esteros y Algarrobales del Río Uruguay Visitor Centre that allows us to receive all those who want to know more about and be dazzled by the wonders of the environment and nature of this place which constitutes an important biodiversity reserve for the country,” stated Álvaro Fitipaldo, Director of UPM's Forestry Operations in Uruguay. 

The mayor of Río Negro Omar Lafluf congratulated UPM for the visitor centre and expressed the compliments of the department. He highlighted the importance of the place for teaching children and young people about Uruguayan nature. 

The area has two trails so that visitors can explore the different conservation environments that stand out for their great biodiversity covering hundreds of species of native flora and fauna – many of them classified as priority for conservation. More than 900 species have been identified in the area during the monitoring sessions UPM carries out annually. The trails comprise about 3 kilometres of walking that allows for sighting many species and ecosystems. 

For more information about the area at www.upm.uy/earu  

About Esteros y Algarrobales del Río Uruguay 

Esteros y Algarrobales del Río Uruguay is a habitat and species management area located in the department of Río Negro. The area has four different environments: the Chaco park, sandbanks, estuaries and the riverine forest, each with its unique group of species generating a considerable increase in biodiversity. 

In 1991 the establishment was acquired by UPM Forestal Oriental who started to carry out biodiversity studies due to the potential of the site. In 1995 the company designated 1,200 hectares to create a conservation area with the objective to restore the most degraded areas and to conserve the most valuable ecosystems. 

In 2011 a cooperation agreement was established with the Uruguayan NGO Vida Silvestre for updating the conservation area management plan. Four years later EARU became the first protected area managed by a private member of the National System of Protected Areas, and the area increased to 1,550 hectares which remains the same today.