NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF 6: Increased resilience to climate change through enhanced local green growth development in Bolivia

Photo: Morten Bo Johansson, Forests of the World
Photo: Morten Bo Johansson, Forests of the World
Photo: Morten Bo Johansson, Forests of the World
Photo: Morten Bo Johansson, Forests of the World
Photo: Morten Bo Johansson, Forests of the World
Photo: Morten Bo Johansson, Forests of the World
Photo: Morten Bo Johansson, Forests of the World
Photo: Morten Bo Johansson, Forests of the World
This project seeks to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, protecting forests through income diversification less vulnerable to droughts and higher temperatures in indigenous peoples communities in Chiquitanía, Bolivia.

Increased resilience to climate change through enhanced local green growth development in Bolivia
Ref: NDF C83

Nordic Partner: Verdens Skove/Forests of the World (FOW)/ Bosques del Mundo
Local Partner: Apoyo Para el Campesino-indigena del Oriente Boliviano
Other Partner: Asociación Forestal Indigena Nacional
Other Partner: Fundación para la Conservación del Bosque Chiquitano
Total Project Cost: EUR 692,479  
NCF Financing: EUR 500,000
Agreement Signed: 1 March 2017
Project type: Combination
Duration: 30 months

Project objective

Contribute to improve the livelihoods and resilience of vulnerable communities in the Chiquitano dry forests in the face of climate change impacts by means of sustainable forest management and local processing of timber as well as non-timber forest products (NTFP).

The project address the opportunity for indigenous peoples to effectively be included in the forest value chain. Developing local processing and creating jobs combined with the diversification of commercial local produce with more drought resistant crops and NTFP species will give the people in the communities several alternatives in the event of future loss of their traditional crops due to extreme droughts or changes in rain patterns and temperature/seasons. The increased focus on integrated agroforestry models mixed with NTFP production will further contribute to mitigation of climate change by increasing biomass and carbon stock, and the organisational strengthening and business development combined with remote sensing monitoring will decrease the deforestation in both the directly and indirectly affected areas and thus contribute to climate change mitigation with considerable avoided emissions.

Main results/outputs

Purpose 1 Communities and state institutions promote and adopt a more holistic and innovative forest natural resource management model based on community development plans and the public planning tools introduced in Bolivia, the so-called Integrated Forest and Land Management Plans, acronym in Spanish: PGIBT, and preventing illegal deforestation.
Purpose 2 Communities have developed and are implementing productions and local processing techniques for sustainable timber, agroforestry and non-timber forest products (NTFP) with low carbon emissions.
Purpose 3 Communities are strengthened organisationally in order to ensure good climate resilient management and are selling their products locally with positive impact on local livelihoods.

The project will deliver the following products and services:

Output 1.1 An integrated forest resource management model has been developed and adapted to the reality of at least 4 communities in the Chiquitano dry forest serving as reference to how timber, NTFPs and agroforestry plans can form an integral part of the community development plans and the PGIBTs.
Output 2.1 7 NTFP value chains have been developed and strengthened, improving livelihoods, resilience to climate change and job creation, especially for women.
Output 2.2 5 communities have planted permanent crops as part of integrated agroforestry systems, thus diversifying their economy and at the same time boosting their resilience to climate change.
Output 2.3 2 communities take part in the timber value chain, adding value to the timber locally and preventing illegal deforestation. 
Output 3.1 6 communities have improved decision-making based on community interests for improving livelihoods and transparent resource management in productive groups, including profit distribution.
Output 3.2 Value chains focused in local job creation have been consolidated, and so have the communities’ sustainable incomes from selling their multiple forest products.


The Chiquitano dry forests is among the most important and threatened Intact Forest Landscapes in Latin America and is especially vulnerable to climate change as it is a transitional environment predicted to be hard hit by more frequent and severe droughts in the future. Credit based financing is inaccessible in the region, highly conditional and risk prone at the contentious agricultural frontier in the project area. Local organizations have few options to secure local livelihoods, however, local sustainable income generation and organisation are seen as principal means for green growth and improved livelihood adapted to the impacts of climate change.

More than 40% of the remaining forests in Bolivia are owned by indigenous peoples, and the development of simple green growth models involving the ABT is expected to contribute to the sustainable management of the remaining forests and provide the indigenous communities with an economy and organisational strength sufficient to empower them to protect their territories, culture and traditions themselves.

The project will mitigate climate change through avoided deforestation focusing on 1. Innovative planning tools; 2. Low carbon production and processing techniques and 3. Improved climate resilience. This encompasses production of timber and the gathering of NTFPs. Additionally, the jobs created will ensure livelihoods in the communities for years to come if the forests continue to be well managed. Agroforestry has the capacity to mitigate climate change, but in this project agroforestry is primarily regarded as an adaptation tool, creating local jobs and long term climate change resilient agroforestry systems to the direct benefit of families and communities. 
The project takes place in and around the indigenous territory of Monte Verde. The territory has an area of 947,440 ha. The rightful owners of this territory are 129 communities of Chiquitano origin. Altogether these communities have approximately 16,000 inhabitants (48% women and 52% men).

Relevance for climate change

Impacts of climate change are already occurring at an alarming rate in Bolivia, and the country is subject to several climate-related risks. The most significant disaster risks are floods in the flat eastern regions and droughts in the western mountainous and semi-arid part of the country which includes the Chiquitanía where this intervention will be implemented.

Climatic variability and extremes are negatively impacting agriculture. Rising temperatures and changes in precipitation distribution are affecting the water availability and growth of crops as well as their sensitivity to pests and plant diseases (J.G. Iwanciw, 2007, Kronik and Verner 2010).

In addition, a great part of the rural population depends on agriculture for subsistence and as their main source of income generation (Ministry of Planning and Development, 2015). As a result, climatic variability and more frequent extreme events not only pose a high risk for food security, but represent a threat to poverty reduction objectives in the country.

Increasing the resilience to changes in climatic conditions is hence an essential component of any strategy for poverty alleviation and the enhancement of economic opportunities in Bolivia.

Innovation aspects

The project aims to break communities’ dependence on external actors while developing their economies based on innovative management models integrating NTFPs, agroforestry and timber production in simple planning tools, implementing a semi-natural agroforestry system producing a range of locally adapted commodities relevant for local processing. Local value chains generate jobs for especially women supplementing the subsistence farming and providing a more diversified drought resilient income.

Additionally, the project takes advantage of national planning tools for community managed forests to propose (in Bolivia) innovative approaches to integrated use of the forests, ensuring the effective involvement of communities in forest management and thus creating economic, organisational and ecosystem resilience.

Currently the forest management legislation and management tools in Bolivia are very traditional and based on a forest concession mindset predominantly oriented towards timber extraction from community lands which leads to segregation of community management in three main silos 1) timber production (main focus), 2) agriculture/agroforestry production and 3) NTFP production. Forests of the World and partners’ experiences from Latin America show that these silos are often both segregated during planning and operation and geographically, resulting in missed opportunities to increase effectiveness and synergies by lowering costs in planning and operational phases and increase yield by combining different management and production objectives in the same geographical area, e.g. mix NTFP species with agroforestry crops like coffee or promote them in pasture areas near the village to make extraction and production easier, especially for women who usually prefer to work closer to the village to be close to children.


More information

Verdens Skove
Apoyo Para el Campesino-indigena del Oriente Boliviano
Fundación para la Conservación del Bosque Chiquitano
Asociación Forestal Indígena Nacional-AFIN