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Business plans for the Tacana communal lands in Bolivia

Under the second phase of the Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon (ICAA) of the United States Agency for International Development and in collaboration with Wildlife Conservation Society, CSF is moving forward with the creation of three sustainable business plans for the indigenous Tacana community. The community, located in Bolivia's Amazon region north of La Paz, is home to approximately 5,000 people. Their land is known in Spanish as a Tierra Comunitaria de Origen, and is similar to a Native American reserve in the U.S., designated as a permanent home for the Tacanas to continue their traditions. It is located on the banks of the Beni River in the village of San Miguel del Bala.

The business plans focus on enterprises that the Tacana community will ultimately self-manage. These plans will support the development of eco-tourism, local artisan crafts, and the sustainable collection of wild cocoa. These businesses will all be managed by Tacana people in areas of high biodiversity, such as Madidi National Park and the Pilón Lajas Reserve.

The enterprises present an opportunity for the Tacanas to generate revenue while protecting their forest and surrounding lands. The company Zip Line Adventure Ecotourism Villa Alcira, the Tacanas Artisans Association of Madidi, and the Association of Collectors of Wild Cacao of Carmen del Emero were all initially supported by initiatives such as ours, which aim to improve the lives of the Tacanas without producing negative impacts on the surrounding environment.

CSF 's plans include: market research focused on fair trade, organizational strengthening mechanisms focusing on gender, productive and environmentally sustainable operations, strategic partner identification, and other mechanisms that will allow the Tacana people to improve their lives while protecting their most vital resource - the lands that have sustained them for generations.