Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bolivia Launches Program to Protect Forests and Alleviate Poverty

A blue and gold macaw in Bolivia — just one of the may species, including humans, that depend on the country's forests. (© CI/ photo by Haroldo Castro)

Earlier in 2011, Candido Pastor who works for Conservation International (CI) in Bolivia, the government of Pando recently created the nation’s first “compensation forest” program called COMSERBO (Compensation for Forest Conservation and Integrated Management of Pando) in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. Candido Pastor took Pando Governor, Dr. Luis Adolfo Flores Roberts to visit a national program 'Socio Bosque'  designed by the Ecuadorian government with technical support from CI-Ecuador. This program provides direct payments per hectare of native forest to landowners who agree to conserve it.

By protecting the forest, landowners not only earn income but also safeguard their access to fresh water, food and other forest resources, and in process help mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. The project 'Socio Bosque' aims to ultimately benefit more than 1 million people in some of Ecuador’s poorest areas.

On return to Pando, the governor Roberts was so impressed by the demonstration of benefits of  forest conservation to local communities that he decided to implement a similar program and mechanism in Bolivia. "Financed by Pando’s regional government as well as international supporters, this is a great example of how these types of partnerships can advance conservation by scaling up pilot projects to higher levels", writes Candido Pastor.
Bolivia Launches Program to Protect Forests and Alleviate Poverty Conservation International Blog

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