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Bolivia has 53 million ha of forested area of which 16% is currently devoted to sustainable use. The natural forests in Bolivia are a traditional source of resources and complement the subsistence of rural and indigenous inhabitants in the lowlands.
The forest resources are also the foundation for a growing forestry industry, generating employment and income for the state as well as local governments (around 60,000 jobs and 300,000 dollars of national income). A vast part of the tropical forests make up globally recognized ecosystems due to their environmental functions and services such as mitigation of climate change, ecotourism destinations, sources of biodiversity and regulators of hydric systems. 

However, the sustainable use of forest resources should take into account the natural production limits in order to make it compatible with the desired social and economic development. With this in mind, it is of great concern that forested areas are valued more for their commercial timber. Forests are constantly and dangerously being converted to other uses, including agricultural and cattle ranching purposes, even though their soils are not fit for such activities.


Crew that attended the tree felling for Un Árbol Bolivia Project in May, 2006. rel= © WWF / Andrés UNTERLADSTAETTER

WWF Bolivia's forestry work
WWF has been working on forestry issues in Bolivia since 1993, when it began efforts in training and community forest management in the Amazon watershed. Between 2001 and 2004, the regional community forest Project was launched from Bolivia for Latin America and the Caribbean . The aim of this project was to strengthen indigenous capacities in sustainable forest management in selected community forest operations that entail rational use and sustainability of forest resources, using as a guide the principles and criteria of the FSC certification (Forest Stewardship Council). 

Currently WWF Bolivia has a Forestry Program that promotes the strengthening of capacities for indigenous communities in forest management and their integration in the market through forest-industry links as well as responsible forestry trade through the creation of a preferential demand for legal wood forthcoming from forests that are well managed.

Geographically WWF's work regarding forest management is concentrated in the Southwest Amazon and Dry Chiquitano Forest , under the vision of preserving its biodiversity and productivity for current and future generations. WWF Bolivia's Forestry Program is transversal and strategically coordinated with the two national ecoregional programs: Amazon and Pantanal.

The Forestry Program is based on two strategic lines of action: