Exploring Conservation Agreements in the Bolivian Andean Amazon
The Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve & Communal Lands lies on the eastern slopes of the Andes in northwestern Bolivia. This reserve connects 4 protected areas in Bolivia and Peru, protects safeguards the headwaters of the Alto Beni River, serves to regulate the local water cycle, and is also a hotspot of endemic biodiversity.
CSF is coordinating with the National Protected Areas Service (SERNAP) and the Tsimane Mosetene Regional Council (CRTM) on a project called, "Feasibility of a Complementarity and Integral Participation Mechanism for Water Conservation of the Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve and Communal Lands.” Our goal is to determine the feasibility of conservation agreements to guarantee the protection of Pilón Lajas, and make recommendations on the best model to implement.
This project has three stages: information gathering, mechanism development, and dissemination. As part of the information gathering stage, we held several workshops in April with the Tsimane, Moseten, and Tacana indigenous peoples live in the protected area. We learned a tremendous amount about their livelihoods and connection to water. We are grateful for the commitment and active participation of all the communities who shared their knowledge.
Our next steps are to present the mechanism for water conservation and conduct interviews with other key actors in the area such as municipal governments, water cooperatives, and intercultural communities. Stay tuned for further updates on this project, which was made possible with the generous support of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).