Located in the heart of South America, Bolivia boasts incredible biodiversity resulting from its variation in topography, ranging from high elevation cloud forests to low-lying dry forests and savannas. Bolivia is home to nearly 200 different ecosystems, which remain strongholds for iconic species such as the jaguar, spectacled bear, Andean condor and giant otter.

Bolivia is also known for its cultural diversity, with 33 indigenous groups. While in the past, traditional industries were once compatible with conservation, now extractive industries such as mining and timber are degrading the environment at a rapid pace. Deforestation has led to a decline in water quality as well as severe erosion, both of which threaten local people and infrastructure.

In 2014, we established an official partnership with the local NGO Natura Bolivia, a conservation organization that shares our ethic of working with local communities and municipal governments to create protected areas and promote sustainable development. In 2016, the 665,000 acre Heroes of the Chaco Historical and Wildlife Reserve was established. Now, we are working toward the creation of additional reserves that will link key areas through conservation corridors.



The largest country in South America, Brazil hosts one third of the world’s remaining rainforest. Considered one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth, Brazil has an array of ecosystems, including rainforests, flooded, deciduous and seasonal forests, and savannas. The regions of Brazil can be categorized as Amazon Forest, Caatinga a semi-arid region characterized by its uncertain rainfall, the Cerrado a vast tropical savanna, Atlantic forest, and the Pantanal an immense tropical wetland. The main threats that are cause for deforestation in Brazil are cattle ranching, the advancement of soy agriculture, timber, palm oil, and infrastructure projects.

The NCI Brazil program started in November 2015, and has developed into a partnership with five local NGOs, in seven Brazilian states. These partnerships developed around a program called Highly Important Drainages for Diversity (Bio & Cultural) in Rural Areas of Brazil (HIDDRA). The focus of our program is to increase representation of protected areas, with particular emphasis on the interface between terrestrial and aquatic systems.

We are focusing on four watersheds across the country, representing the most biodiverse ecosystems: the Amazon, Pantanal, Cerrado and Atlantic Forest. Each of our chosen partners have long history in these biomes, therefore our action is to leverage their activities in creating and supporting the implementations of protected areas, either public or private.

Our goal is to increase protected areas in key Brazililan drainages and create incentives and solutions while doing so.


Over 300 different ecosystems are found in Colombia. It houses nearly 10% of the planet’s biodiversity on less than 1% of its land mass, and Colombia leads the world in a number of categories. For instance it is home to an astonishing 1,900 bird species – double that of the U.S. and more than any other country – making the conservation of Colombia’s ecosystems a global priority.

Colombia is also home to over 90 different indigenous groups, including the Wayuu who live in the desert of La Guajira and the Cofán Pueblo found in the foothills of the Amazon. Despite this miraculous array of cultural and biological diversity, Colombia’s unique species and indigenous people face threats from extractive industries such as oil, mining and illegal logging.

However, over half of the country’s forests are still intact, and the national government has mandated that each region create a system of protected areas. As peace takes hold after years of conflict, we see a major opportunity for conservation, and NCI and Colombia’s regional environmental authorities are seizing this opportunity together. To date we have established partnerships in Nariño and Antioquia to fund the creation of six protected areas spanning nearly 200,000 acres