MacArthur announced 18 grants totaling nearly $4 million for efforts to preserve the biological diversity of the Southern Andes region of Peru and Bolivia. The Southern Andes is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, yet it is also one of the most threatened because of human intervention. Logging, mining, as well as overfishing and farming are encroaching on the region’s important habitats. Grant funds will be used to conserve large landscapes in the region and help local authorities better manage conservation efforts.

“We are encouraged by the new momentum in the region where the governments of Peru and Bolivia have adopted national strategies for conserving their nations’ biodiversity,” said Jonathan Fanton, President of the MacArthur Foundation. “Building upon these efforts, our grantmaking is designed to involve indigenous communities in the conservation of their region and to build the skills of local organizations to help manage parks and protected areas.”

Nine grants totaling $2.175 million were awarded in support of efforts to conserve five priority landscapes in the region (see map for details).

• A grant of $300,000 over three years was awarded to Centro de Conservacion, Investigacion y Manejo de Areas Naturales (Lima, Peru) to support administration of the Cordillera Azul National Park. Grant funds will be used to equip three guard posts, map the social assets of nine communities helping with conservation efforts in the park, pilot a cacao agroforestry system and explore additional income-generating activities in the park, title land in key communities, and implement a plan to recover the giant turtle population.

•  The Bolivian nongovernmental organization Fundacion Yangareko received a grant of $300,000 over three years for community-based conservation in the Manuripi Wildlife Reserve and buffer zone.

• Centro para el Desarrollo del Indigena Amazonica (Lima, Peru) received a grant of $275,000 over three years to prepare for local management of the Machiguenga Communal Reserve and Megantoni National Sanctuary. Grant funds will be used to train local residents in conservation management and to work with the government protected area agency to turn over responsibility to local authorities.

• The Instituto del Bien Comun (Lima, Peru) received a grant $250,000 over three years for efforts to work towards a key regional watershed management program in the Pachitea river basin. Grant funds will be used to educate local communities about the importance of watershed management and the negative impact of human activities on the basin’s ecosystem, to gather more data about the status of the basin, and help build systems in preparation of local management.

• Fundacion Amigos de la Naturaleza (Santa Cruz, Bolivia) received a grant of $250,000 over two years for efforts to strengthen the management of the Amboro National Park and its buffer zones.

• The Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx, NY) received a grant of $350,000 over three years and the Amazon Conservation Association (Washington, DC) received a grant of $250,000 over three years for research and conservation-based development, habitat management, and direct protection in Madidi National Park and buffer zone.

• A grant of $250,000 over three years was awarded to the University of Florida for fisheries research in the Peruvian stretch of the Madre de Dios River.

• The World Wildlife Fund received a grant of $200,000 over three years for efforts to increase environmental standards for oil company activities, to design a fisheries management plan, and to write a business plan to more fairly and effectively market the catch. Grant funds will also be used to establish a community-based alert network to expand local indigenous participation in the monitoring of fishing and oil production.

Nine grants totaling $1.815 million have been awarded to help local authorities better manage conservation efforts.

• A grant of $400,000 over three years was awarded to the Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental (Lima, Peru) to provide support for governments in the region as they make decisions and set policy regarding the management of protected areas in their country. Grant fund will also be used to train government officials about protection and use of biodiversity outside the national protected area system, and to help establish conservation areas along the Inter-Oceanic Highway in Southern Peru to the Brazilian border.

• The Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Lima, Peru) received a grant of $250,000 over three years to bring in visiting professors and lecturers to teach and offer guidance for course content in conservation biology and to help streamline administrative aspects of the conservation biology program.

• The Organization for Tropical Studies (Durham, North Carolina) received a grant of $200,000 over three years to develop a training program for academics seeking to improve their conservation education, conservation staff from non- governmental organizations that have assumed management responsibilities for  parks and reserves, and public sector professionals. 

• The American Museum of Natural History (New York) received a grant of $225,000 over three years to bring together conservation faculty and practitioners in the Andean region to develop new training resources on key topics in biodiversity conservation for use at the undergraduate or graduate levels.

• The Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Peruana (Iquitos, Peru) received a grant of $200,000 over three years to strengthen its graduate program in ecology and sustainable development and forestry and develop a new graduate program in protected area management.

• A grant of $200,000 over three years was awarded to the Field Museum (Chicago, IL) to train conservation professionals and local leaders in Peru and Bolivia on how to communicate scientific information effectively to local audiences.

• Liga de la Defensa del Medio Ambiente (La Paz, Bolivia), a network of 30 Bolivian environmental organizations, received a grant of $100,000 over two years to develop and make available information regarding environmental rights and responsibilities of individuals and the state, and to encourage state officials to include conservation principles in the drafting of the new Bolivian constitution.

• Two organizations – Fondo Nacional para Areas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado de Peru (PROFONANPE) (Lima, Peru) and Fundación para el Desarrollo del Sistema Nacional de Areas Protegidas (FUNDESNAP) (La Paz, Bolivia) received grants to provide support for management of national conservation trust funds. PROFONANPE received a grant of $90,000 over two years to support fundraising efforts to match a $15 million Global Environment Facility project designed to strengthen the national protected area system and park service in Peru. FUNDESNAP received a grant of $150,000 over two years to help build fundraising capacity and financial management skills of local stakeholders at Madidi National Park, Apolobamba Integrated Management Area, Pilon Lajas Biosphere Reserve, and Manuripe Wildlife Reserve in Bolivia.

Conservation & Sustainable Development, Conservation, Latin America