Achievements

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A living Amazon...
© Brent Stirton/ Getty Images / WWF-UK
WWF has been working in the Bolivian Amazon since 1999. The Amazon is one of the priority regions for WWF worldwide and, within these, is considered one of its greatest priorities and is at the center of its collective conservation agenda. The Amazon is shared between Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyanas, Peru, Surinam and Venezuela. There are more than 33 million people living in the Amazon. 5% of this population is indigenous, belonging to 350 different ethnic groups, of 60 of which still little is known. The Amazon covers 6.7 million km2 and shelters the Amazon river, the largest in the world in terms of watershed area, number of tributaries, and volume of water discharged. The Bolivian Amazon extends through the departments of Pando, Beni, Northern La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz –without including the Dry Chiquitano Forest– occupying 24% of the national territory and corresponding to 95% of the upper watershed of the Madeira river, the main tributary of the Amazon river.
Main achievements

Support for the creation of protected areas in the Amazon
WWF has supported the creation of the Departmental Park and Natural Integrated Management Area (PDANMI) Iténez, covering 1,389,025 ha in the department of Beni; the Northern Tiquipaya Wildlife Municipal Reserve with 117,688 ha in Cochabamba; and the Bruno Racua Departmental Wildlife Reserve with 75,054 ha in Pando.

In addition, we have supported the management and effective administration towards the consolidation of the protected areas of Manuripi, Iténez, Tiquipaya, Amboró, Carrasco y Noel Kempff Mercado, as well as supporting relations with communities located within or around these areas, promoting management committees and educational programmes (which include the Amboró Interpretation Center and a itinerant education programme in the Iténez).

Sustainable management of natural resources with local communities
For almost a decade, WWF has been supporting activities related to the conservation of natural resources and sustainable production, ecotourism initiatives, handicrafts, forest management (timber and non timber products), agricultural production, recovery of degraded lands, fishing, caiman and river turtle management, as well as strengthened the capacities of local stakeholders so that they can implement these activities in protected areas.

This approach has allowed us to work in a participatory manner with communities living within or around protected areas, generating sustainable development in harmony with conserving the Amazon, while at the same time improving the living conditions of the local population.

Generation of technical information
Technical information is a useful instrument in sustainable development planning for local communities and authorities. Under this logic, WWF has supported participatory studies, coordinated with authorities and focused on improved management of natural resources.

Outstanding studies include a conservation vision and ecological zoning for the Amboró-Madidi Corridor, aquaculture, bio-commerce and land use planning in Pando, Manuripi Reserve’s Management Plan, potential impacts for Bolivia of the dams on the Madera river, financial sustainability for protected areas, as well as the compilation and systematization of spatial information on the Southwest Amazon ecoregion.

Sustainable tri-national forestry development
The Forest and Integral Vision for Development in the Amazon Project was carried out from 2004 to 2006 in the tri-national region of Pando in Bolivia, Madre de Dios in Peru and Acre in Brazil, and worked on the strategic planning for sustainable development proposals for the forest, focusing on pilot activities with municipalities, local NGOs, peasant and indigenous communities, in the hopes of contributing to poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation.

The Project was coordinated by WWF and included the participation of Care International, Conservation International (CI), Dutch Service for Cooperation and Development (SNV), Tropenbos International (TBI) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), as well as local partners which implemented field activities.

Inter-institutional coordination
WWF supported the development of the Coordination Committee for the Amboró-Madidi Corridor as an inter-institutional coordination entity with the participation of the National Service for Protected Areas (Sernap), National Office for Biodiversity (DGB) and international conservation organizations also working in the Amboró-Madidi Corridor: CI, TNC, WCS and WWF.

We also supported the creation and functioning of border committees to promote coordination between environmental authorities and general population in Bolivia and Brazil in the Iténez-Mamoré Corridor.

The Bolivian river dolphin (Inia boliviensis)
In 2006, the Bolivian dolphin was recognized by the scientific community as an endemic specie for Bolivia. As a result of the South America river dolphin census carried out in 2006-2007, during the expedition along the Iténez River in the Beni, a total of 941 Bolivian dolphins (Inia boliviensis) were sighted in good conservation state, surpassing the number observed during the remainder of the expeditions of the continental census.

The specie is also considered an important indicator in terms of the quality of the aquatic ecosystems it inhabits, and facilitates the evaluation of impacts from threats like contamination from hydrocarbons and mercury, construction of infrastructure such as dams and waterways. In addition, during 2007 the Inia boliviensis was declared by the Prefecture of the Department of Beni (Northeastern portion of the country) as natural heritage, further highlighting the specie’s conservation value, as well as that of the aquatic ecosystems found in Beni and in Bolivia.

Land use planning in the Amazon
WWF has supported with tools and processes for land use planning and management designed to guarantee a regional planning process that allows for the adequate use of renewable natural resources in the Amazon.

Under this framework, Municipal Plans on Land Use Regulation (referred to as PMOT) in the municipalities of Magdalena and Baures in the Department of the Beni have been developed, as well as in the Association of Municipalities Amazon Union Filadelfia-Bolpebra (MUAFB) in Pando. Specifically this refers to processes for land and natural resource management intended to strengthen basic technical capacities in public and community management, as the basis for planning sustainable municipal development.

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