Indigenous Community Contribute to the Consolidation of the Iténez Protected Area



Posted on 21 March 2012  | 
Jabiru bird, Itenez Reserve, Bolivia
© Gustavo Ybarra / WWF-CanonEnlarge
On November, 2011, the indigenous community of Versailles located inside the Natural Park Iténez, through its representative, presented before the board of the Management Committee of the protected area (PA), that the community will contribute with funds, equipment and works to the control management and supervision of PA. "The community is now convinced that control actions help to maintain relationships of harmony and respect with nature, this is the way they have chosen to live".

The community offers:
  • Salary for 4 park rangers, in addition to the existing ones
  • To furnish 2 new 20HP and 25 HP outboard motors
  • Materials and labor necessary to build a new camp d in the San Simon river area, and the restoration of an existing one.
  • Labor required to build a new floating camp (barge) of 10x4 m

The operational capability will improve with these contributions, and will contribute to project objectives.
This action by the community shows an important change in attitude on the part of the people in particular of the indigenous community of Versalles, who at the beginning of the project (2005) showed a strong opposition to the existence of the park. Similarly there was a high degree of mistrust in our organization and in our partners, making difficult the implementation of the project endangering the viability of the PA.

The new attitude by the Versalles community members, allows us to appreciate the fruits of a long and difficult technical and social processes implemented thanks to the project for the conservation of the headwaters of the Amazon (AHI) which is, financed by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Thereby was facilitated as well as the conservation of an area of high conservation value, the reevaluation of standing forest, sustainable management of natural resources, and obtaining more and better benefits for the community. This achievement is even more appreciated if we remember that when the project began AHI there was a sharp opposition on the part of the community of Versailles to the management of PA.

The Iténez Protected Area (1,389,025 hectares) has very rich biological ecosystems, in a very good conservation conditions. In the PA 440 families live in an extreme poverty, distributed in 14 communities, 12 of which belong to the Itonama indigenous people.

For more information please contact to: lsainz@wwfbolivia.org
Jabiru bird, Itenez Reserve, Bolivia
© Gustavo Ybarra / WWF-Canon Enlarge

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