New Municipal Conservation Area Created in Bolivia

The Municipal Conservation Area of Santa Rosa del Abuná is one of the most significant protected areas that Bolivia has created in the past decade. Established on April 3, 2017, the area is comprised of intact Amazonian forest in northern Bolivia and spans 424,601 acres (171,834 hectares). In Bolivia, protected areas created at the municipal level share the same legal strength as national areas, and are part of the national protected area system.

Santa Rosa’s dense tropical rainforest and rivers host a wealth of biodiversity. The following are examples of species that have been recorded in the area: 

  • Bald-faced Saki monkeys (classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 

  • White-lipped peccaries (classified as a vulnerable species by the IUCN)

  • Jaguars (classified as a near-threatened species by the IUCN)

  • South American tapirs (classified as a vulnerable species by the IUCN)

  • Bolivian river dolphins (named a national treasure by the Bolivian government) 

The new Santa Rosa protected area is located in the Department of Pando and the Municipality of Abuná. This region is close to the borders of both Peru and Brazil. However, outside of a community of around 230 Brazilian immigrants, very few people live near the area.

Santa Rosa is an important milestone because it empowered a partnership between the municipal government, local communities, and la Asociación Boliviana para la Investigación y Conservación de Ecosistemas Andino Amazónicos (ACEAA) to create a large new protected area sought by the regional government of Pando. 

Santa Rosa serves as a buffer against high rates of deforestation in nearby areas, especially across the border in Brazil (see map above). This is also reflected in data collected in the Municipality of Abuná: 

  • 97% of Abuná’s forests remain intact 

  • Abuná ranks 3rd among Bolivian municipalities with the highest proportion of forest cover in relation to its geographical area  

  • On a national scale, Abuná ranks 4th among municipalities with the highest proportion of potential species richness

Santa Rosa is classified as a Category VI protected area by the IUCN. This categorization allows for the sustainable use of natural resources found in the area for non-industrial purposes. 

As a result, the newly created protected area has significant economic benefits for the people of Abuná. Non-timber forest products such as Brazil nut trees and acai grow freely in this area, and protecting the forest ensures that they can be sustainably harvested over the long term. Local families will benefit from the revenue generated from the harvest of these products, offering an alternative to illegal logging or mining as a source of income. Therefore, Santa Rosa will function as an integrated model of biodiversity conservation and sustainable forest use.

The creation of this new protected area would not have been possible without the help of Andes Amazon Fund grantee, ACEAA. Now that the area has been created, AAF will support the establishment of protection and management systems for Santa Rosa, including a forest monitoring system and training workshops for the local population. We hope that the success of this area's creation will lead to additional conservation accomplishments in Bolivia.  


New Conservation Concession Established Near Manu National Park

Photo by Gabby Salazar.

Photo by Gabby Salazar.

Peru’s National Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR) granted a new conservation concession in Kosñipata. This marks the 15th protected area that AAF has helped establish in Latin America. 

Located in the southern region of Cusco, the conservation area is 4,459 hectares (11,018 acres), or the size of approximately 11,000 soccer fields. These types of government concessions can be renewed after 40 years and are designed to protect biodiversity, promote environmental education, and foster related research. 

In particular, the Young Conservationists Association of Alto Pilcomayo requested the grant to stop illegal logging and hunting in the area. Kosñipata is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, some of which are endangered such as the spectacled bear. 

AAF supported the work of the Amazon Conservation Association, a strong advocate of the conservation concession as well. More information about the area can be found here

AAF Helps Create 5 Protected Areas in 2016

Photo by Gabby Salazar. 

Photo by Gabby Salazar. 

2016 was a very busy year for AAF. In total, the Fund helped establish 5 private conservation areas (PCAs) or áreas de conservación privada (ACPs) in the region of Cusco, located in the south of Peru. 

PCAs are a type of protected area. Peru’s National Protected Area Service (SERNANP) defines them as privately-owned properties that are samples of natural ecosystems. The owners of these areas, rather than the state, are responsible for conserving and managing the land. 

SERNANP further explains PCAs biological importance, "in recent years this instrument of private conservation has become more important, as more and more people, communities, non-governmental organizations, and companies are committed to contributing to the conservation of our country's biological diversity and connect the large fragments of ecosystems."  

In total, 694 hectares (1,714 acres) were dedicated as PCAs. This included Santuario La Veronica, Machusaniaca I, Machusaniaca II, Fundo Cadena, and Wayqecha. Species endemic to these areas include pumas,  green-and-white hummingbirds, and andean bears.    

To achieve these PCAs, AAF supported efforts led by the Amazon Conservation Association

Creation of Sierra del Divisor National Park in Peru

Program Director Enrique Ortiz presents AAF's contribution to Sierra del Divisor's initial management.

Program Director Enrique Ortiz presents AAF's contribution to Sierra del Divisor's initial management.

AAF is proud to announce the creation of Sierra del Divisor National Park in Peru.

President Humala signed a law into effect on November 8th, establishing the new conservation area. Located in the western part of the country neighboring Brazil, the massive park spans more than 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres).

 According to the Peruvian Times, Sierra del Divisor, "is larger than Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks combined. [It] straddles parts of the Loreto and Ucayali regions and closes a final link to ensure the protection of a 67mn acre area known as the Andes-Amazon Conservation Corridor." 

Sierra del Divisor is a major win for conservation efforts in Peru.  The park hosts an estimated 3,500 species of plants alone. Threatened animals in the area, such as jaguars and tapirs, will also be protected as a result of Sierra del Divisor's creation. 

Still, native flora and fauna are not the only ones benefiting from the park's development. The protected area is also the home of indigenous communities, namely the Iskonowa.  

AAF committed $1 million USD to Sierra del Divisor's initial management. During the process of creating the park, the Fund also supported the efforts of the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA).


Banner photo by Walter Wust.