Optimizing Bolivia’s Protected Area Fee System

Region & Country

CSF is working closely with SERNAP (Servicio Nacional de Áreas Protegidas, National Service of Protected Areas) on an analysis to review and optimize Bolivia's protected area (PA) fee system. We are providing technical support to optimize and possibly expand the System of Collections (SISCO) to additional PAs. This revision of fees and potential implementation of SISCO to additional areas will be based on quantitative analysis of financial flows, from income generation to distribution back to the PAs. The project also involves coordinated dissemination activities to share and discuss results with SERNAP authorities, PA Directors, and tour operators.


SNAP (Sistema Nacional Protegido, the Bolivian National Protected System) is both underfunded and highly dependent on inconsistent financial sourcing. Fully 60% of the current budget comes from external sources (donations from bilateral and multilateral organizations). National sources (government budget allocation, royalties, fines and compensations) provide an additional 20%. The final 20% of current funding, approximately US$3 million per year, comes from the System of Collections (SISCO), an entrance fee program implemented in eight of the country’s 22 national protected areas (PAs).

While SISCO’s contribution is important, there is significant scope for improvement. Despite important tourism activities in multiple PAs, 90% of the revenue generated by SISCO comes from just one, the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve. More broadly, entrance fees in Bolivia have never been based on a quantitative understanding of tourists’ decisions, meaning that SERNAP may be missing an opportunity to increase revenue without adversely affecting demand.

In this context, there is an opportunity to optimize SISCO revenue in both PAs where SISCO is currently operating, and those where SERNAP is planning to implement the system. The effectiveness of SISCO depends on entrance fee optimization, as well as the efficient and proper use, administration, and distribution of resources. SERNAP and CSF recognize that there is a wide margin for improvement, specifically in terms of income generation, distribution, and administration. A SISCO optimized for revenue generation could both increase funding for SNAP, and diversify funding across a greater number of Bolivia’s PAs.

This analysis is made possible with generous funding from the Andes Amazon Fund.

Photo: Maned wolf

Photo credit: Robert Elsmore/ Flickr