Stopping Deforestation at the Edge of the Bolivian Amazon
Stop Fires in the Bajo Paragua Rainforest
The Bajo Paragua forest of Eastern Bolivia is ground zero in the fight to save the Amazon Rainforest from logging, fire, and conversion to agriculture. Intact through 2019, some 5-10% of the forest burned during the terrible fire season of 2020, spilling over from the deforestation frontier just to the south. If these trends continue, the entire forest, an area one and a half times the size of Delaware, will be lost within a few years. With it will go the livelihoods and culture, the very being of the indigenous Guarasug’we people, as well as 337,162,504 metric tonnes of carbon – up in smoke.
To hold the line, our conservation partners propose to work with the Guarasug’we and local governments to create the San Ignacio and Concepcion Municipal Protected Areas, safeguarding over 2 million acres of rich, lowland rainforest. Our partner will train, equip and deploy patrols and fire brigades to protect the forest and its indigenous residents. Some additional forest loss is perhaps inevitable, but we think we can slow it down and secure the remaining forest within a few years. The burnt patches will regenerate; the Amazon will survive.
Bajo Paragua forest
Crowned Solitary Eagle (EN), Amazon River Dolphin (EN), Black-faced Black Spider Monkey (EN), Umburana Do Cheiro (EN) Giant Otter (EN), Tapir (VU) and Jaguar (VU)
(CR)=Critically Endangered, (EN)=Endangered, (VU)=Vulnerable
Acres Conserved by:
Conservation Area Designation
Fundación Natura Bolivia / Rainforest Trust
Project Carbon Storage:
*(metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents)
Be a Part of Our Solution
Urgent action is required to save the remaining forest. By helping us create the San Ignacio and Concepcion Municipal Protected Areas, your support will provide new long-term legal protection to the Bajo Paragua Forest.
Our partner’s top priority will be to work closely with the Guarasug’we to take back control of their land and forest to preserve their culture. Helping the Guarasug’we communities to fight wildfires is also critical for the protected area management, they will be provided annual training ahead of each fire season and equipped with water tanks and hoses.
Comprised of swamp, riverine and floodplain forest habitats, the Bajo Paragua is rich in Endangered Amazon species. The proposed protected areas will safeguard 1,273 species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and many charismatic large mammals. These include the Crowned Solitary Eagle (EN), Black-faced Black Spider Monkey (EN), Giant Otter (EN), Tapir (VU) and Jaguar (VU). The site also houses globally threatened timber species like Broadleaf Mahogany (VU), Umburana Do Cheiro (EN) and Spanish Cedar (VU).
A newly discovered golden bat species will also benefit from this protection. Although its conservation status is yet to be determined, it is highly likely to be classified as Endangered and endemic given its limited range and increasing habitat loss. Species numbers are still preliminary and likely to increase, as much of the biodiversity in the area is still unknown to science.
The Bajo Paragua also forms a critical corridor between two vast neighboring protected areas–securing it will maintain an unbroken expanse of forest through to Brazil.
The protection of this project helps participate in several of the United Nations Sustainability Goals
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
End poverty in all its forms everywhere.