Thanks to dedicated supporters like you, there is a new protected area in southern Bolivia.
The Bolivian Andes contains incredible wildlife and essential water sources, but deforestation is rapidly destroying its ecosystems. Recent data reveal Bolivia is currently experiencing one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world.
Your support is making a difference. It is with great pleasure we announce the creation of a new protected area in southern Bolivia!
The newly declared Serranía Incahuasi Natural Area of Integrated and Community Water and Biodiversity Management (Serranía Incahuasi) conserves 71,776 acres in the Bolivian Andes, spanning humid and submontane forests. Its vast landscape contains a variety of wildlife including 141 species of plants, of which 14 are considered endangered or vulnerable species. Among the endangered species is Cedrela angustifolia, a species of tree in the mahogany family. Serranía Incahuasi is also home to 67 species of birds including the stunning and vulnerable military macaw (Ara militaris).
The new area sits between Serranías del Inao National Park to the north and Serranías de Igüembe Municipal Integrated Management Natural Area to the south. In linking protected areas, Serranía Incahuasi establishes critical connectivity in the region for far-ranging and threatened animals like the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), cougar (Puma concolor), and Andean condor (Vultur gryphus).
The area’s forests contain sources of water for rural and indigenous communities and inhabitants of the municipal capital Villa Vaca Guzman – approximately 3,500 people. Serranía Incahuasi will safeguard this important natural resource from expanding agriculture, logging, and other threats.
Additionally, its forests capture and store carbon dioxide, mitigating climate change. According to studies in the region, each hectare (2.47 acres) of forest captures 254 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“Local authorities are eager to protect water sources and establish areas like Serranía Incahuasi,” says Renzo Paladines, Executive Director of Latin America at Nature and Culture. “With the support of donors, we can protect large areas of land in the Bolivian Andes which will be protected and managed by communities because the areas safeguard their water sources.”
Indigenous Guaraní communities reside in the region, just south of the protected area. These communities have lived in harmony with nature for hundreds of years, using ancestral knowledge, values, and practices to care for the land. The declaration of Serranía Incahuasi recognizes and preserves the rights, culture, and territorial management of the Guaraní people.
Serranía Incahuasi is a result of collaboration between Nature and Culture, Fundación Natura Bolivia, the Municipality of Villa Vaca Guzmán, local communities, and indigenous Guaraní communities in the region. Nature and Culture played an important role in the area’s creation, developing maps and reports, consulting with communities, and supporting municipal initiatives.
“We are very grateful for the work of Natura Bolivia and Nature and Culture International,” shares Franklin Barrietos, President of the Municipal Council of Villa Vaca Guzmán.
The creation of Serranía Incahuasi is part of larger conservation efforts in Bolivia. With your support, Nature and Culture will continue working with Fundación Natura Bolivia and local communities and authorities to ensure sustainable management in Serranía Incahuasi and two other recently declared areas: Serranías de Igüembe and Cuanca Alta Río Parepeti Municipal Natural Area.
Thank you for making this achievement possible! We hope that this bit of good news inspires you to continue fighting for nature and culture.