Conservation and Resource Management

Sustainable Bolivia supports  the local communities in Aquicuana in environmental conservation and resource management. We believe that their communities’ well-being is interdependent with that of the surrounding biodiversity and ecosystem, with effects that impact generations to come. Thus, they are a primary stakeholder and participate in planning and designing conservation initiative.

The communities who live in remote villages inside the Aquicuana Reserve depend on the land for food and income throughout the year. The natural environment plays an important role in their health and welfare, which could be threatened by climate change as well as the effects of overfishing, overuse of pesticides, mining and industrial activity – all current environmental threats in Bolivia.

Keeping that in mind, our approach includes:

  • Multi-stakeholder collaboration and coordination between all participants: local, communities, the government, and NGOs, and promotes coordination among them.
  • Participatory action research – collaborative fact-finding and analysis to generate consensus and action.
  • Policy support and law enforcement, which are essential to curbing illegal encroachment leading to ecosystem degradation.
  • Collaborative management plans – build shared responsibilities and decision-making among all stakeholders through joint management plans of natural resources. This leads to healthy communities and ecosystems.
  • Participatory monitoring and evaluation – promote learning, trust and accountability through monitoring of the natural resource base and application of the management plan.

Maintaining and improving a hiking trail for the community of San José

Sustainable Bolivia was entitled with maintaining and improving a hiking trail of 4km for the community of San José along the lake. The trail has more than 70 giant trees to be preserved and benches and signalization will be put. This way, the community of San José will be able to use this trail for tourists in its guided tours.

Running Water Project in the community of San José

The Community of San José is an isolated community in the Aquicana Reserve, a 49,421 acre wildlife preserve.  There is no running water or electricity in San Jose.  Bringing running water to this village would improve the health and well-being of both the community and the surrounding ecosystem.

San Jose is comprised of 27 houses each with one family.  The population of San Jose is roughly 150 people.  The community largely relies on subsistence farming with some income coming from work found in Riberalta.

Where do they get the water from?

At the moment, they use “Pauros” as drinking water sources in San Jose. A “pauro” is a hand-dug well where clear water collects from a spring. There are 9 drinking water sources spread out throughout 2.19 miles of the main village road.  The majority of the village relies on the 4 pauros located along the main part of the village road.  Most of the pauros have strong positive pressure and create streams which run off into the lake.


The community of San Jose is standing at a pivotal point in time right now.  Although economic pressures along with a lack of running water and electricity have left the community behind in many ways, there is tremendous potential for San Jose.

With the help of Sustainable Bolivia and Fundacion Amazon, San Jose is able to explore environmentally sound and low impact methods of obtaining revenue through eco-tourism and cultural preservation.  Bringing running water to San Jose is an incredible opportunity to work hand in hand with a small community living in the Amazon jungle. This project will create economic opportunities for the village as well as have long lasting positive impacts for the environment, the people, and all of those involved.

​The concept for bringing water to San Jose began with the community voicing their concerns to Fundacion Amazonia.  With the help of Sustainable Bolivia, Fundacion Amazonia is able to bring this project to the attention of organizations that are in a position to help.  Through the coordination and partnership of Sustainable Bolivia and Fundacion Amazonia, operational and administrative support are readily available for this project.  In addition, the community of San Jose has pledged to provide any necessary labor which the project may need.  Thanks to the efforts of Sustainable Bolivia, the Community of San Jose, and Fundacion Amazonia, the project is ready to move forward and is in need of engineering expertise and funds.

Community of San José map here:

Other projects