Bolivia’s protected area system consists of 123 protected areas that account for roughly 20% of the country’s overall territory and include 11 of Bolivia’s 13 ecoregions (1). As a result, this system is critical to the preservation of Bolivia’s natural lands and ecosystems. Yet too often, policy makers view funding for conservation as a poor investment of limited national resources.
In part, this misguided belief stems from a lack of information on the benefits of ecosystem services and the devastating effects of permanently losing such critical habitat and biodiversity. Consequently, decision makers often fail to adequately fund protected area systems and resist their expansion.
To help address these issues, Conservation Strategy Fund is conducting a series of economic valuation studies on ecosystem services related to water provision, carbon sequestration, and climate regulation to provide technical information about the role that protected areas play in the economy. In addition, CSF will follow up this work with a coordinated marketing campaign to communicate the results of our findings with key stakeholders. Our goal is to increase the knowledge and awareness among key decision makers on the role that protected areas play and to increase and secure long-term funding for Bolivia's protected areas.
(1) An ecoregion is defined as a geographical unit that contains a geographically distinctive combination of species, natural communities, and environmental conditions. These units have characteristic flora, fauna, and ecosystems.
Photo: Isla Incahuasi (Pescadores), Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Hugo Brizard