The Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Project (NK-CAP) mitigates the greenhouse effect
by reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). Planned to last 30 years,
the project is the first of its kind to be certified according to the standards of the Clean
The project is an example for the world of how to scientifically quantify, monitor and certify the
reduction of CO2 emissions that results from forest conservation.
Started in 1997, the NK-CAP added 832,000 hectares of tropical forest to the Noel Kempff Mercado
National Park, an area that was threatened by excessive logging and new human settlements. The
expansion of the park was made possible by indemnifying forest concessionaires that operated in
The project’s science program quantified the carbon stored in the area with a monitoring plan that tracks
biomass changes, socioeconomic impacts, the evolution of timber markets, and developments in
The project made it possible to expand the area of the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park from 706,000
ha to its current size of 1,523,446 ha. The expansion of the park allowed its boundaries to be redefined
naturally by rivers, thus ensuring the biological viability of the populations of species that are characteristic
of the region.
The project made it possible to establish a trust fund that ensures the basic protection of the park indefinitely
into the future. It also supported the development of environmentally sustainable economic activities in the
neighboring indigenous communities and helped them secure property rights over their lands (Tierra Comunitaria
In November 2005, the company Société Genérale de Surviellance (SGS) certified that without the project
1,034,107 tons of CO2 would have been released into the atmosphere between 1997 and 2005. SGS evaluated
the project’s design and its methods (for “additionality”, baselines, possible leakage, and the monitoring of
environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the project) with the rigorous standards of the Clean Development
Mechanism given that no standards for REDD existed at the time.
The NK-CAP was established as part of a strategic alliance between the Government of Bolivia—through
the then Ministry of Sustainable Development (currently the Ministry of the Environment and Water),
American Electric Power Company, BP-America and PacifiCorp. It is implemented by The Nature Conservancy
(TNC) and Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza.
Rich biological diversity and a high level of endemism make the Amboró-Madidi Corridor
(CAM) a priority area for national and global conservation. FAN accordingly led the creation
of a vision for the conservation of the CAM. The goal of this process was to provide a fundamental
tool for implementing strategies that would ensure the conservation of this part of Bolivia over
the long term.
The conservation vision document highlights the CAM’s outstanding species richness and concentration
of endemism, thus underscoring the region’s importance as a biodiversity hotspot in the tropical
Andes as well as its role as Bolivia’s main evolutionary laboratory. The social and economic characteristics
of the corridor are also relevant considering that over 3.4 million people live in colonization zones and
agricultural centers situated within the CAM’s area of influence.
The conservation vision and its strategic zoning for the management of the CAM are based on an analysis
of conservation priorities that were identified according to the area’s different conservation targets. The
strategic zoning includes a portfolio of priority conservation sites as well as alternative areas for conservation
and sustainable development, and is therefore a useful technical input for guiding land-use planning.
The conservation vision of the CAM, published in a 414 page book in September 2008, was produced by 25
professionals from different fields working with the technical and financial support of the Worldwide Fund
for Nature (WWF), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Conservation International (CI). Additionally, the US
Agency for International Development (USAID) provided financial support for the publication of the book.
The General Directorate of Biodiversity, of the then Ministry of Sustainable Development, provided institutional
support by leading an oversight committee. The project also received valuable inputs from the Centro de
Investigación Satelital y Teledetección (CISTEL), the Instituto de Ecología (IE), the Ornithology Department of
the Noel Kempff Mercado Museum of Natural History (MHNNKM), and the Tropical Ecology Support Program
(TÖB) of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).
Decentralization and the development of governability for environmental management
are understood together as a process in which municipal governments exercise their authority
to promote biodiversity conservation and the sustainable management of natural resources.
This process includes the active participation of communities, public and private institutions,
and the general public, thus facilitating the democratization of environmental management
In the context of a national legal framework (the Law of the Environment and the Law of
Municipalities) that delegates direct responsibility for the sustainable management of the
environment and natural resources to municipal governments, FAN developed over the last five
years a Model for Participatory Municipal Management of Natural Resources and the Environment.
This model seeks to link communities, public institutions and municipal governments in order for
them to incorporate environmental issues into municipal management and thereby contribute to the
conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in the municipality.
Four municipalities in the southern zone of the Amboró Protected Area have incorporated environmental
issues in their operations along three lines of action developed in the model:
Implementation of norms and technical instruments for planning, conservation and the sustainable
use of natural resources and biodiversity.
Strengthening of the technical capacities of municipal governments and communities for developing
and implementing conservation and for sustainably using their natural resources and biodiversity.
Increasing the public sector and civil society’s appreciation for conservation and sustainable natural resource
use issues, as key elements in the process of development and the generation of local benefits.
The municipalities of Comarapa, Pampagrande and Mairana have included environmental management
initiatives in their annual work plans and have invested public funds in their implementation. These initiatives
were proposed by 34 of the 52 communities located in these municipalities. Similarly, the municipal governments
have identified municipal-scale conservation and natural resource management activities that are now being
carried out. Land use planning tools as well as municipal and community rules for environmental management
were developed and are being used. The efforts and initiatives aimed at increasing awareness about
environmental issues are being developed by the municipal governments as well as by civil society organizations.
The Model for Participatory Municipal Management of Natural Resources and the Environment was developed
and has been implemented with commitments to follow its guidelines from the Municipal Governments of
Comarapa, Mairana and Pampagrande, the leaders of many of the communities of the southern part of
the Amboró Protected Area, and public and private institutions that work in the region. Funding for the
implementation of the model was provided by The MacArthur Foundation and the United States Agency
for International Development (USAID) though the Landscape Conservation Program.
In mid-2005, FAN was selected to assume the technical leadership of the National Sustainable
Biotrade Program (PNBS). A program of the Government of Bolivia, the PNBS seeks to stimulate
the generation of income for the country by facilitating the trade of products and services
from native biodiversity that are produced according to standards for ecological, social and
During three years of its implementation, the PNBS succeeded in seeing the biotrade sector become
organized and its national and international profile enhanced. On average, the different productive
enterprises supported by the PNBS increased the volume of their sales by 80% as compared to 2005.
At the same time, the producers gained access to new markets and had a positive impact on the
export supply offered by Bolivia.
Between 2005 and 2008, the 392 indigenous and campesino communities, 21 companies, and 125 cattle
ranches that comprise the chains of production assisted by the PNBS, developed capacities in sustainable
natural resource management, the organization of production, business administration, and market
intelligence. The chains of production include products from alligator, tegu lizards, collared peccary, vicuña,
jatata palm, palqui tree, maca root, butterflies, cusi palm, copaibo tree, majo tree, wild cacao, Brazil nuts,
honey from native bees, cupuazú and aromatic herbs.
There is greater appreciation for 5.5 million hectares of the Amazon, Chaco, Yungas, puna and pre-puna
ecosystems where the 15 biotrade chains of production are located. This is the result of the development
and implementation of sustainable management plans and the use of best practices manuals for harvesting
and organic production.
The PNBS contributed to the development and revision of 13 proposed legal instruments. The corresponding
authorities approved two of these instruments—the Ministerial Resolution 309/06 for the Guide for the
Development of Biodiversity Management Plans and a supreme decree authorizing the trade of vicuña—
whereas the rest provide the groundwork for policy development and future actions by the proper authorities.
In June 2008, FAN concluded its technical leadership of the PNBS, but continues to support the biotrade sector
as a strategic partner that offers technical and financial assistance.
The National Sustainable Biotrade Program was supported by the Royal Netherlands Embassy, the Secretary
of Economy of Switzerland, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The book Biodiversity: The Richness of Bolivia, published in 2003 substantiates Bolivia’s place
among the world’s most biodiverse countries. This work contains studies by 72 Bolivian and
foreign authors that provide current information on the state of knowledge of Bolivia’s
biodiversity. In addition to documenting and validating the richness of Bolivia’s biodiversity,
the book also identifies the challenges that exist for its conservation.
Given that Bolivia is one of the, countries with the greatest levels of biodiversity in the world, it
has a great responsibility for the conservation of this biodiversity. In 2000, the Government of Bolivia
began developing a National Biodiversity Strategy, Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza participated
in this process by offering scientific support. FAN and the Government of Bolivia agreed that FAN
would provide the technical underpinnings for the strategy by leading the compilation and publication
of Biodiversity: The Richness of Bolivia.
This work describes the 12 ecoregions found in the country, the best known taxa, and the general distribution
patterns of biodiversity. It also identifies the diverse actors and populations that use the country’s biodiversity,
offering a novel contribution to the analysis of the use of biodiversity products and services, and its importance
for the country’s economy.
Moreover it describes the causes and mechanisms behind the degradation of biodiversity and analyzes the
capacity and conditions for its conservation. Special attention is given to the local capacity that communities
and municipalities have for biodiversity management.
Biodiversity: The Richness of Bolivia is a valuable baseline and reference text for researchers, governmental
decision-making, and actors in the conservation sector. It includes information, guidelines and novel concepts
for planning and biodiversity conservation within the framework of the National Biodiversity Strategy.
This work is an official document that was created at the request of the then Ministry of Sustainable Development-
currently the Ministry of the Environment and Water. Gonzalo Mérida and Pierre Ibisch were responsible for
the production and editing of the document. Funding for the book was provided by the Embassy of Sweden,
the Royal Embassy of Denmark, Patrons for Biodiversity (BIOPAT), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
(COSUDE), Center for International Migration and Development (CIM), and the United Nations Development
The communities that live in rural areas of high biodiversity value or in zones bordering
protected areas have the challenge of safeguarding the natural heritage of Bolivia so it can
be maintained over the long-term. They are therefore protagonists in the conservation of
the country’s valuable biodiversity, and ultimately its protection and sustainable development
depends upon them.
Facing this challenge, 25 neighboring communities of the Amboró Integrated Management Natural
Area have been successfully implementing—with support from FAN—initiatives for honey production,
grazing systems, headwaters protection, perennial and annual crops in agroforestry systems, and
ecotourism. For example, the community of Cabra Cancha, in the municipality of Camarapa, protects
64 hectares of the El Piritial micro-watershed that provides water for its irrigation needs and for other
communities in the lower part of the watershed. This initiative is supported by the municipal government.
This kind of community-based action has become an exemplary model for conservation and the sustainable
use of natural resources that is compatible with economic and productive interests.
With the expansion in 1996 of the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park to its current boundaries, 7 communities
joined forces and improved their living conditions. FAN’s first program of assistance to the communities of
the Bajo Paraguá region addressed basic needs such as health, education, organizational strengthening,
land tenure, road access and communication. In 2006, during the second stage of assistance, the indigenous
organization of the Bajo Paraguá (Central Indígena del Bajo Paraguá) obtained tenure rights over its land
(Tierra Comunitaria de Origen). Through productive initiatives for the management of timber, fisheries, and
non-timber forest resources, members of the communities have also developed technical skills in the use of
natural resources. These communities are recognized as the guardians and defenders of the conservation of
Noel Kempff National Park.
The actions undertaken to generate community-level leadership for conservation are made possible by diverse
programs and projects financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The
Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Noel Kempff Climate Action Project, Conservation International (CI), MacArthur
Foundation, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), Wagner
Foundation, Tinker Foundation, and CARE.
By providing a suite of methodological innovations, FAN has strengthened the biodiversity
component of the Municipal Land Use Plans (PMOT). The PMOT is a technical-regulatory
instrument that allows the use and settlement of the municipality’s land and territory to be
planned according to its biophysical, social, economic and cultural characteristics. Recognizing
that the PMOTs are important guides for the decision makers responsible for municipal
development, FAN saw the benefit of broadening the biodiversity component of the PMOTs and
identifying effective measures for conservation and sustainable development in each municipality.
FAN built upon experience it had gained working on other planning processes (including individual
property land use plans, management plans for protected areas, and eco-regional plans) to further
develop the biodiversity component of the PMOTs, particularly the stages related to the biological
diagnostic and the integrated evaluation of the area in the municipality. In developing the PMOT of
the Municipality of Pampagrande, FAN collaborated with the Municipal Territorial Strengthening Unit
of the Prefecture of Santa Cruz and the Municipal Government of Pampagrande to create maps of the
municipality’s biological and ecological attributes and the state of conservation of its ecosystems. This
effort also identified conservation targets and their areas of distribution, as well as the principal natural
attractions of the municipality.
Based on this experience, FAN, Fundación Amigos del Museo, the Noel Kempff Mercado Museum of Natural
History, the Chiquitano Forest Conservation Foundation, the Office of Land Use Planning and Watersheds of
the Prefecture of the Department of Santa Cruz, and the Sociedad para la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre
developed a proposed methodology for strengthening the biodiversity component of the land use planning
process. The product of this initiative was incorporated into a proposal for revising the Methodological Guide
for Land Use Planning that is currently held by the Vice Ministry of Territorial Planning and the Environment.
This work was made possible with support from the Royal Netherlands Embassy and carried out under the
auspices of the USAID-funded Landscape Conservation Program by a consortium comprised of Conservation
International (CI), FAN, the Federation of Municipal Associations of Bolivia (FAM), and Asociación Boliviana
para la Conservación (TRÓPICO).
For a decade (1995–2005), Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN) contributed to the
sustainable management of the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, helping it become
one of the best managed protected areas in Bolivia and the country’s only natural area to
be recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
In 1995, the then Ministry of Sustainable Development and the Environment signed a long-
term agreement with Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN) establishing a commitment to
manage the park, guarantee its protection, carry out programs from its management plan, and
ensure the gradual involvement of the local population in the park’s management. With this
agreement, FAN and the leadership of the park initiated a joint undertaking characterized by close
At the close of the period of co-management, the park’s biodiversity and ecosystems had been
maintained in a good state of conservation. The area continues to be distinguished as one of the sites
with the greatest diversity of species and habitats in the region, and the only place on the continent
where five different types of vegetation converge, including humid forests, dry forests, savannah wetlands,
Cerrado savannahs, and gallery forests. As part of the Noel Kempff Climate Action Project, which is being
implemented in the park, a trust fund was established that guarantees the basic protection of the area
indefinitely into the future.
The creation of a management committee and the committee’s contributions have been essential for the
management of the park. The committee has functioned since 1995 and is recognized as an instrument of
the park’s governance. It has participated in planning, facilitated oversight of management of the area, and
promoted greater appreciation of the park in neighboring rural communities and urban populations. The
committee is comprised of representatives of the National Protected Areas Service, Prefecture of the Department
of Santa Cruz, Municipality of San Ignacio de Velasco, Sub-Prefecture of the Province of Velasco, indigenous
organization of the Bajo Paraguá (Central Indígena del Bajo Paraguá), and the communities of Florida, Porvenir,
Piso Firme, Bella Vista, Remanso, Cachuela and Esperancita de la Frontera.
The communities became involved in the management of the park at the same time that they revived their
traditional organizational system, developed a sense of ownership over the park, and implemented diverse
initiatives for the sustainable harvest of their natural resources and the management of their lands.
During this time, tourism services in the park were expanded, thus helping to reveal the natural bounty of
the park to national and international visitors. Improvements in the services included significant new
infrastructure and equipment for tourist activities at the Flor de Oro and Los Fierros visitor centers.
The co-management of the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park received support from The Nature Conservancy
(TNC), American Electric Power, BP-America, PacifiCorp, United Nations Development Program, Global
Environment Facility (GEF), Noel Kempff Mercado Museum of Natural History, Swiss Agency for Development
and Cooperation, UNESCO, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), Wagner Foundation, Fanwood Foundation,
Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), and donations from individuals committed to the conservation of
Bolivia is one of the richest countries in biodiversity. The protected areas and other conservation
units found in the country therefore represent high-value opportunities for the conservation
of this biodiversity.
It was in this context that the project Gaps in Representation in the National System of Protected
Areas was developed, thus addressing one of the national government’s commitments under
the Convention on Biological Diversity. The objective of the project was to ensure technically
that the most sensitive and valuable elements of Bolivia’s biodiversity were adequately represented
in the National System of Protected Areas (SNAP). As a result, all the national priority areas for
biodiversity conservation were identified and the existing network of protected areas in the country
The design of the gap analysis methodology took into consideration the most recent advances in
conservation science, thus ensuring that the study was as thorough and complete as possible. The analysis
was guided by the premise of functionality first, thus abandoning the classic view of achieving representation
with collections of species in protected areas. Accordingly the development of a vision for biodiversity
conservation for all of Bolivia was proposed that identifies a matrix of key priority areas representing the
country’s biodiversity and, where possible, catalyzing conservation activities within large blocks of functional
The gap analysis study developed for Bolivia offers the biological and ecological basis for identifying a series
of priority areas that serve as the foundations for an integral vision of conservation and sustainable development
for the entire country. According to this vision, functional ecosystems are maintained and between 10 and
15% of the country’s different ecological units are represented in areas that are under some kind of management
or protection system.
The gap analysis was carried out with an integrated approach that succeeded in having the most sensitive
and valuable elements of the country’s biodiversity adequately represented in the National System of Protected
Areas by viable and functional priority protected areas. This document also included alternatives for how to
manage areas that are valuable for conservation but cannot be converted into protected areas.
The study was commissioned by the National Protected Areas Service with support from the Global Environment
Facility (GEF) and its execution was delegated to a consortium of institutions. Fundación Amigos de la
Naturaleza (FAN), the scientific leader of the project, collaborated on the study with the Asociación Boliviana
para la Conservación (TROPICO), Centro de Estudios y Proyectos (CEP), Nordic Agency for Development and
Ecology (NORDECO), Conservation International (CI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Wildlife Conservation
Society (WCS), and the University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde, Germany.
Founded in 1998, FAN Publishing House is a valuable medium for documenting and
disseminating scientific knowledge about Bolivia’s biodiversity. The specialized publications
on scientific issues, along with other materials and activities, aim to create greater awareness
of biodiversity conservation among different target audiences.
FAN Publishing House has a catalogue of over 40 publications in different genres. The principal
works include The National Biodiversity Strategy, Biodiversity: The Richness of Bolivia. State of
Knowledge and Conservation, Wild Edible Fruit of the City of Santa Cruz, Flora of the Amboró National
Park Region Vol. II and III, A Vision for Biodiversity Conservation in the Amboró – Madidi Corridor, Palm
Collections of Bolivia, Orchids of Bolivia Vol. I and II, Mammals of the Humid Forests of Tropical America,
Kusasu and the Tree of Life, and The Chiquitano Dry Forest Conservation Plan.
In the 11 years that it has operated, FAN Publishing House has worked with more than 30 Bolivian and
foreign authors, succeeding in maintaining a constant rhythm of production of publications. These works
are the result of joint efforts between researchers, scientific institutions, and organizations committed to
generating and disseminating scientific knowledge.
In the last few years, FAN Publishing House has begun producing materials and events for the sector that
generate support within society for conservation. Some of the most notable events and materials include
the organization of the 19th Working Meeting of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group Lesson Learned on
Conservation and Management of Crocodiles, participation in the International Book Fairs in the cities of Santa
Cruz and La Paz, and the production of souvenirs and appointment books with different themes.
Financial support for the production of different publications by FAN Publishing House has been provided by
Repsol YPF, Biocultura – Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE), the Royal Embassy of
Denmark, Patrons for Biodiversity (BIOPAT), the Center for International Migration and Development (CIM)
of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the United Nations Development Program (PNUD), and others.
With their support, a publications fund has allowed the continuing publication of books on biodiversity
conservation in Bolivia.
The wild relatives of agricultural crop plants are the ancestors of the cultivated species,
and they continue to survive in the wild, forming part of the country’s biological diversity.
They carry genes that are valuable for improving crops, including increasing their nutritional
content, and are therefore useful for ensuring food security.
Considering the importance of these species, the project In Situ Conservation of Crop Wild
Relatives Through Enhanced Information Management and Field Application seeks to contribute
to global food security through their effective conservation. Among the project’s most important
results is an information system, internationally accessible on the Internet, which contains information
on the biology, taxonomy, and state of conservation of the wild populations of 16 key food crops.
These crops include cereals, tubers and fruit, such as potato, quinoa, sweet potato, cassava, pineapple
In Bolivia, Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN) was responsible for the design, development and
implementation of the information system, and it worked closely on the project with eight national
partner institutions1 whose data was incorporated into a national information system. FAN integrated
this national system into an international system (available at www.cwrbolivia.gov.bo) after having
proposed innovative solutions and made modifications necessary for ensuring its compatibility with the
systems of other participating countries. This was done in such a way as to allow the countries to manage,
share, and analyze information on the wild relatives of cultivated plants in one system that is available for
different users around the world.
Furthermore, the results of a national inventory of wild relatives of the principal cultivated species represent
a first step in developing a knowledge base about these plants and their distribution in Bolivia. The specialized
database of taxonomic and ecological information contains 2,486 entries of herbarium samples and germplasm
accessions. One of the most noteworthy products of this effort is an Atlas of Crop Wild Relatives that includes
a series of maps accessible with a system that allows them to be used graphically and spatially.
The information system and the database developed by the project are together a fundamental tool for decision
makers as they address strategies, policies and norms for this kind of crop within the context of genetic resource
management. The system is accessible for the public.
The project is financed by the United Nations Environment Program and the Global Environment Facility
(UNEP/GEF) and will last five years (until 2009). The participating countries are Armenia, Bolivia, Madagascar,
Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan. Bioversity International is the principal implementer along with different national
and international partners. In Bolivia, the project is implemented through the General Directorate of Biodiversity
and Protected Areas (DGByAP) and the funds are administered by the Fundación para el Desarrollo de la
Considering its ecological and biogeographic characteristics, Amboró National Park is one of
Bolivia’s most important protected areas. This area is comprised of diverse ecosystems of
great scenic beauty that harbor an immense and unique biological richness with an elevated
number of endemic species. It includes important watersheds upon which extensive agricultural
regions of the department of Santa Cruz depend. Likewise, 73 communities with approximately
8,000 inhabitants are found within the Amboró Integrated Management Natural Area (ANMI),
and they use its land and natural resources for a diverse range of productive activities.
During the last two decades, FAN, working in close coordination with the National Protected Areas
Service, has provided substantial technical, financial and material support for conservation and the
strengthening of management in the ANMI.
The ANMI and the team charged with its management have the necessary resources and capacities for
its basic management. This management includes environmental education and communication, running
a protection system, conflict prevention, the promotion of community initiatives that are compatible with
conservation, the strengthening of relations between protected areas authorities and local stakeholders,
the promotion of research activities related to the conservation of the ANMI and the development of capacities
for its administration.
As the result of efforts to improve the public profile and appreciation of the park, the municipalities that
share jurisdiction over the area, as well as a large number of the communities located within the ANMI, now
recognize its ecological importance. These stakeholders are implementing a diverse range of activities and
projects that aim to conserve its biological and ecological qualities, maintain its environmental services, and
sustainably use its natural resources.
Since 1991, diverse organizations and international cooperation agencies, including The Nature Conservancy
(TNC), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Global Environment Facility (GEF), CARE,
MacArthur Foundation, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have provided financial support
for the conservation of the Amboró Protected Area.
Management plans for protected areas are tools that guide actions related to the protection,
management and conservation of a protected area. These plans are based on knowledge of
the area’s biological and cultural diversity as well as its state of conservation. They are the
principal technical instrument that guides the effective management of a protected area given
that they focus on its particular characteristics, problems, potential and limitations. Zoning
and strategic planning are developed according to the specific conditions of the protected area.
Diverse stakeholders discuss their vision for conservation of the area and subsequently establish
commitments, defining actions for protection, the management and use of natural resources, and
advocacy that later become programs.
Over the past 20 years, FAN and the National Protected Areas Service (SERNAP) have jointly developed
5 management plans for protected areas, thus making a fundamental contribution to the strengthening
of protected areas management in Bolivia. Between 1991 and 1992, the Management Plan for the Rios
Blanco y Negro Wildlife Reserve was developed. This plan defined the boundaries of the reserve, access
to its natural resources, the aim of social investments, and the promotion of organized participation by
the local population. The objective was to develop a model that could be applied to other productive forests
In 1995, management plans were developed for Noel Kempff Mercado National Park—the technical basis
for the expansion of the park—and the Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area,
which led to the reclassification of that area. Both plans involved the broad, open and voluntary participation
of the protected areas’ stakeholders.
In 2000, FAN developed the management plan for the first municipal reserve in the country, the Municipal
Reserve of Tucavaca (RMT) located in the municipality of Roboré. The plan was used for the start of the area’s
management by the Prefecture of the Department of Santa Cruz.
In 2006, FAN updated the Management Plan of the Beni Biological Station Biosphere Reserve, applying new
protected areas management concepts, such as an ecosystemic approach that links the protected area with
the regional context. Likewise, a participatory methodology was used that facilitated the involvement of
different stakeholders and made it possible to establish social agreements and modify the plan according to
a new social-political context.
The different management plans were developed with funding from the Global Environment Fund (GEF),
The Nature Conservancy (TNC), CARE, PL-480, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the Chiquitano Forest
Conservation Foundation (FCBC).
The biodiversity of protected areas faces diverse threats such as deforestation, indiscriminate
fishing or hunting. Considering this, the protection teams in the parks require systems,
methods and tools that allow them to prevent and respond effectively to these threats.
The Integrated Protection Plan (PIP) is a planning tool and a guide for monitoring that allows
greater effectiveness in the protection of an area and management of resources. It defines lines
of action and technical-administrative mechanisms for enforcement and surveillance activities,
as well as the management of human resources, infrastructure and available equipment in a
Based on the accumulated experience of years of work on the Protection Program of the Noel Kempff
Mercado National Park (PNNKM), in 2003, a PIP was developed jointly by the park headquarters, its
team of park guards and FAN’s technical staff. Subsequently, it was adapted for and implemented in
the Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area.
The use of this tool led to the redesign of protection measures that includeed a subdivision of the protected
area into districts and sites, the zoning of patrol areas (air, land and river), the scheduling of different
types of patrols (segments and frequency), and the planning of fuel use.
The PIP also made it possible to improve the organization and performance of the park guards. This included
improvements in the fulfillment of functions related to patrolling, community outreach, environmental
education and environmental monitoring of conservation targets of the protected areas. For this range of
actions, the park guards developed capacities in the use of different tools and carried out activities guided by
measurable indicators that verify the effectiveness of their performance. The PIP’s component for the
strengthening of human resources became a source of motivation for the team of park guards.
In the same sense, the community outreach activities carried out by the protected areas staff resulted in
agreements and positive actions by the communities linked to the areas. These actions included the installment
of campsites in the communities, joint patrols with the park guards and activities to increase the appreciation
that children have for the park. It is noteworthy that in the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park agreements
were established with Brazilian authorities in order to implement seasonal fishing closures simultaneously
in both countries.
This planning tool was developed as part of the Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Project which is funded
by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), American Electric Power Company, BP-America and PacifiCorp. In the
case of the Amboró Protected Area, the plan was developed under the auspices of the Parks in Peril Program
which was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Nature
The Chiquitano dry forest is a globally exceptional ecosystem and only in Bolivia is it found
in a good state of conservation. With the objective of contributing to the conservation and
management of this ecosystem, in 2001, FAN developed the Conservation and Sustainable
Development Plan for the Chiquitano Dry Forest, Cerrado and Bolivian Pantanal.
It was the first conservation planning process to be undertaken in Bolivia at the regional scale
(covering an area of approximately 7 million hectares) and to incorporate a proposed schedule for
its implementation. The plan is a tool that can be used by municipalities as a baseline for their land
use plans and as a guide for their development and sustainable natural resource management policies
and actions. Furthermore, it can be used by local organizations as they develop their natural resource
use activities, and it can help orient the activities and investments of conservation organizations in
The plan is a management tool that covers 15 years (2002-2017). It sets forth a spatial vision of conservation
and sustainable development for representing the area’s biodiversity according to its relative importance
and in a way that responds to bio-ecological needs. Furthermore, to the extent possible, the plan ensures
the functionality and continuing existence of the area’s biodiversity. Created with participatory scientific
evaluation methods, the plan represents a concrete land use planning and natural resources use proposal
for a region that, given its exceptional biological diversity, requires concerted policies and effective tools for
conservation and sustainable development.
This plan was developed for the Chiquitano Forest Conservation Foundation by FAN in consortium with Apoyo
al Campesino e Indígena del Oriente Boliviano (APCOB); Fund-Eco, Instituto de Ecología, and the Institute for
Project Planning (Institut für Projektplanung GmbH).
Conservation planning—one of FAN’s areas of work—is a process that involves analyzing
and proposing conservation and biodiversity management strategies as well as solutions for
problems. Therefore, it is a process that requires solid scientific foundations and innovate
The Bioclimatic Model for the extrapolation of species ranges and diversity patterns (BIOM) allows
forecasting of patterns of species diversity and endemism. The BIOM and a geographic information
system for evaluating and prioritizing conservation actions are examples of innovative methodological
tools developed by FAN for conservation planning.
The first step in the planning process is to define what is to be conserved. For this step, FAN developed
BIOM, which predicts which sites will have the most species richness or uniqueness, and is used when
little knowledge exists about the area. It combines climate conditions and data on species distribution
or data from the collecting of species. The use of this model, and the analysis of 17 taxonomic groups
and more than 6,000 species of plants and animals, made it possible to identify the sites with the greatest
richness and endemism in Bolivia.
Additionally, the priority conservation sites are identified using a geographic information system (GIS)
with a methodology adapted by FAN to analyze human activities, evaluate the state of ecosystem conservation,
cross reference information with centers of diversity and endemism, and prioritize important conservation
Both tools can be used at different scales. These include the local scale (as in the case of integrated management
plans for watersheds or protected area management plans), the regional scale (as in the case of the Vision
for the Amboró Madidi - Corridor and the Plan for the Chiquitano Dry Forest), and the national scale (as in the
case of the Analysis of Gaps in Representation in the National System of Protected Areas).
These tools were developed as part of different projects. Principal support for the development of BIOM came
from the Tropical Ecology Support Program (TÖB) of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ). Complementary
support came from the project “Biodiversity conservation vision for the Amboró – Madidi Corridor”, which
was implemented by FAN with support from World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and
Conservation International (CI).
As part of FAN’s scientific collection of live plants, 25 new species of Bolivian flora were
discovered and described by science. This collection was established in 2002 with the purpose
of generating knowledge about native flora in order to support the botanical development of
species with potential for ornamental uses.
Currently the collection has around 2,500 specimens of 391 species of higher plants native to Bolivia
(Orchidaceae, Bromeliaceae, Cactaceae, Araceae, Heliconiaceae, Aristolochiaceae). This includes
61 endemic species, at least 10 original reference specimens of bromeliads for the purpose of describing
new species, a complete collection of the genus Fosterella (20 of the 30 species that exist in the world)
and 30 native trees with commercial and ornamental potential.
The management of the scientific collection required the creation and maintenance of a database with
phenological records covering the cycle of flowering, fruiting and reproduction of each of the specimens
in the collection for three consecutive years. These data made it possible to develop protocols for the
propagation and maintenance of the specimens.
The collection has also contributed to the ex situ conservation of important species, including, for example,
the cactus Lepismium miyagawe. Although difficult to find in the wild, this species is maintained in the
collection where there is a protocol for its in vitro propagation.
The collection has made valuable contributions to the knowledge of the native flora of Bolivia. Information
from the collection has been published in the books Orchids of Bolivia volumes I and II (2001; 2004), an interactive
CD-ROM on the bromeliads of Bolivia (2000), and in 50 scientific articles in national and international journals.
The principal partners involved in the scientific collection of live plants and the phenological research were
Patrons for Biodiversity (BIOPAT) and the Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Project.
FAN works within a broad framework of inter-institutional collaboration and commitment,
engaging with networks of stakeholders who are both motivated by the goal of conserving
Bolivia’s biodiversity and convinced that development can occur at the same time that the
natural heritage of our country and the planet is maintained.
In accordance with this approach, FAN carries out its activities through inter-institutional
alliances comprised of civil society organizations, governmental entities and the private sector.
In doing so, technical and financial capacities are complemented, and the network of
stakeholders who can produce concrete results for biodiversity conservation is broadened.
FAN’s network of allies is comprised of:
Civil society – This is our principal conservation ally, with which we interact, learn and jointly
promote efforts. FAN’s specific civil-society allies are the National Indigenous Organization of the
Lowlands of Bolivia (CIDOB) and 7 of its regional organizations, 18 indigenous lands (TCO – Tierras
Comunitarias de Origen), 13 associations of producers, 14 private companies and private property
owners committed to conservation.
Governmental sector – We proactively provide support to this sector, and at the same time, we
maintain our independence in technical matters and demonstrate transparency in our actions. Our allies
in this sector are the Ministry of the Environment and Water, Vice Ministry of the Environment, Biodiversity
and Climate Change, the General Directorate of Biodiversity and Protected Areas, General Directorate of
the Environment and Climate Change, National Climate Change Program, Ministry of Rural Development
and Land, Vice Ministry of Land, National Protected Areas System, Directorate of Protected Areas of Santa
Cruz and Beni, Prefectures of Santa Cruz, Beni, Chuquisaca, and Cochabamba, Federation of Municipal
Associations of Bolivia (FAM), Association of Municipalities of Santa Cruz (AMDECRUZ), and 8 municipal
Academic sector – Working together with this sector, we generate knowledge and scientific foundations
for conservation. Our academic allies are the Gabriel René Moreno Autonomous University, Noel Kempff
Mercado Museum of Natural History, Bolivian Forest Research Institute, National Herbarium of Bolivia, Herbarium
of Chuquisaca, Bolivian Bat Conservation Program, and the Group of crocodilian specialists.
Private sector – FAN learns from this sector, and provides its stakeholders with support in order to develop
their capacities for implementing biodiversity conservation. Our allies in the sector include: Trópico Foundation,
Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Ecología (FUNDECO), Bolivian Association of Conservation (ABC), Nuevo
Norte Foundation, FAUTAPO, PRORURAL, CAINCO, National Chamber of Biotrade, Association of Ecological
Producer Organizations of Bolivia (AOPEB), and the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE).
Funding entities and donors – They value our work and place their trust in our institution, and to them
we pledge technical excellence and effectiveness in our actions. They include the Caroline Gabel - Shared
Earth Foundation, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, John D. and Catherine
T. MacArthur Foundation, Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), The Nature Conservancy
(TNC) United States Agency for International Development (USAID), AVINA Foundation, Conservation
International (CI), American Electric Power, BP-Amoco, PacifiCorp, Andean Development Corporation (CAF),
German Technical Cooperation – International Center for Migration (GTZ-CIM), Swiss State Secretariat for
Economic Affairs (SECO), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE), United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and
the Andean Community of Nations (CAN).
One of the challenges for our country, and likewise for the conservation sector, is to develop
solid institutions that are competitive in their respective areas of action, be they in the private
or public sector.
Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza is committed to its institutional mission of generating
opportunities and innovation for the conservation of Bolivia’s biodiversity. It has also taken on
the challenge of its own institutional development and strengthening with the goal of guaranteeing
the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of its actions.
FAN’s current level of institutional maturity is reflected in a clear long-term strategic vision that has
a value proposition that is relevant for conservation. Moreover, it has a work culture with modern
institutional management systems, a highly professional team committed to the institution’s mission,
and solid inter-institutional relationships with beneficiaries, allies, and funders.
The following are some of FAN’s indicators of institutional capacity:
Technical area: 4 programs under implementation, 73 projects implemented directly, 211 community
initiatives that receive funding and technical assistance through partners.
Team: 130 dedicated, talented and proactive staff members. A relationship of trust and shared leadership
between the board of directors and the executive management. An institutional culture of strong
institutional values, productivity, learning, and autonomous performance.
Financial sphere: An approximate budget of US$4,000,000 executed annually. 60% of the funds required
by the multiannual technical plan for the next 5 years have been secured.
Internal management systems: A system for strategic, operational, technical and financial planning;
a monitoring and evaluation system; and a system for communication and documentation. All the systems
operate with modern information technology.
Inter-institutional relations: We attract and link beneficiaries, allies and funders that share our value
proposition and belong to civil society, the public sector, and the public sector from different regions
and departments of Bolivia, as well as from other countries.