TBI in Bolivia through its partner IBIF work towards an integrated, sustainable and inclusive management of the landscape of the Guarayos Indigenous Territory and the Gran Chiquitanía region.
The Chiquitanía region is located in eastern Bolivia, a transition area between the Amazon and the Chaco. The forested area is influenced by different local, national and international factors. Agro-industrial production of soy and sorghum, as well as livestock production represent the main drivers of deforestation in the region and mining. The Bolivian State has a predominantly agricultural vision of development, as expressed in the proposed land use and agricultural plans for the coming years. Indigenous communities have an important role to play in the management of the remaining forest in the region, as 80% of managed forests in Bolivia, amongst others in the Chiquitanía region, are managed by indigenous groups.
The landscape of the Guarayos Indigenous Territory is located to the northwest of the department of Santa Cruz, within the province of Guarayos, and also forms part of the Gran Chiquitanía region. As in the rest of the Chiquitania, the rate of deforestation has been increasing, due to expansion of large-scale sorghum, soybean, and cattle farms. The area is vulnerable to projected changes in the local climate, such as the increase in annual average temperatures and a reduction of annual precipitation. Small-scale producers of corn and other products on which local food security depends, are more vulnerable to climate change.
According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (up to the year 2012), Guarayos province has 50,131 inhabitants. The education levels are not optimal, access to financing is low and differentiated, living conditions are poor, and there is a lack of public investments in disaster prevention.
Taking into account these issues our primary concern in the landscapes is how to enable an integrated land and forest management of the landscape in an inclusive, transparent and democratic manner, allowing the sustainable food production and income generation while respecting the traditional indigenous values, knowledge and beliefs.
What we do:
- Support the Guarayos Indigenous organization (COPNAG) and the Centrales Indígenas to develop a ‘Life Plan’ for their territory;
- Develop technical and political capacities of locally-based producers of timber and non-timber forest products;
- Improve the confidence and leadership of women and young people, develop their political and technical skills and support their active participation in productive initiatives;
- Together with educational centers develop a specific curriculum to build the knowledge of young people about the territory and its main productive capacities;
- Develop a monitoring system with the neighbours (peasants and private agricultural properties/companies), to ensure that the boundaries of the indigenous territory are respected;
- Support the Bolivian Forest Service (ABT) in the modification and adaptation of forestry norms and regulatory framework to be more effective in monitoring and enforcing the use of land and forest resources in the region.
- Develop inclusive forest businesses (timber and non-timber) in the region that have access to tailor-made financial products and the capacity to manage funds;
- Support national authorities to develop legal instruments that facilitate these inclusive businesses and to control compliance with commitments;
- Promote the application of newly developed forest legislations by the national government and municipalities; and
- Create awareness among consumers on the contribution of agro-ecology, certified products to safeguard environmental functions of the forests and food provisioning.
Tropenbos International works in Bolivia through its partner the Bolivian Institute of Forestry Research (IBIF). Visit their website for more information: ibifbolivia.org.bo
TBI has worked since 2010 with the Bolivian Institute of Forestry Research (IBIF), an NGO which conducts and promotes forestry research in the Bolivian tropical forests, and disseminate these results to encourage the sustainable management of natural resources.