The Amazon is the lung of planet earth – you have probably heard this before. Most likely, throughout the past years you have probably also become aware of the threats that are continuously approaching the Amazon. Agricultural expansion, extraction of natural resources, more living spaces – you name it – it probably one way or another leads to deforestation. Many of us might be aware and care about the many issues surrounding the Amazon, however we forget that this world has become ever so globalised. Chances are that every person, especially those of first world countries, have negatively affected the Amazon, both knowingly and un-knowingly.
To mention a few ways in which you might have unconsciously supported deforestation: buying clothes at big clothing companies, using products with palm oil, eating meat of animals fed with soy which was most likely produced in the global south, making use of commercial items, etc.

  The issue with deforestation is that is a broad problem. It is not only limited to one issue, but many. As previously mentioned, the Amazon as the lungs of the earth has great importance towards the reduction of effects of climate change. However, aside from this incredible function, it also prevents soil erosion, it keeps the water cycle stabilised, increases general life quality in and outside of forest regions and offers a home to both native indigenous tribes and an extreme amount of nature and wild life. To those that have had the honour of visiting the Amazon: you probably know with what awe one walks through these delicate but resilient places, with what excitement one explores the depth and complexity of nature and wildlife and with what detail, structure and consistency the residence of these forests exists.

All this might be gone in a hundred years, at least that is what many scientist predict if we do not change our consumption behaviours. Climate change will get worse and more extreme, if we do not stop burning down hectares and hectares of forests. Species will be lost inevitably, if we do not take into consideration the life we destroy. Whole spaces of land will be destroyed for good, if we do not do not stop ruining healthy soil. The lungs of the earth, and everything that comes with it, will disappear, if we do not stop deforestation.

With politicians such as US President Donald Trump or soon to be President Jair Bolsonaro, the discussion about climate change and environmental destruction is ever more important. Bolsonaro receiving great support from the agricultural sector and having plans for future infrastructure project are only two factors which could lead to great damage of the Brazilian amazon. The Aquicuana reserve being on the Bolivian side makes the importance of the research and reforestation work there of even higher importance. Thus, Sustainable Bolivia strives to expand our knowledge and use it in ways that will benefit the amazon and its residence in the future.

The Aquicuana Reserve is a place of incredible biodiversity. It has developed, and still is, to a place where both professional researchers and amateurs have found great interest in nature and wildlife. It is the ultimate place to experience, observe, monitor and research different plant and animal species. The goal at the Aquicuana Reserve is to find the perfect compromise between letting nature be and allowing for sufficient observation opportunities. Furthermore, it is home to two rural communities: Warnes and San José. Both communities are incorporated in projects to increase their opportunity of direct benefit.

Over the past months Sustainable Bolivia has welcomed researchers from all over the world in the Aquicuana Reserve. The great potential of the reserve has been recognised by many of those that have had the chance to visit and spend time there. Sustainable Bolivia has acknowledged the international opportunities within the Reserve and how further detailed research can help both the Aquicuana Reserve, locals and the amazon as a whole. We have realised the importance of the amazon and have successfully completed the first phase of our plan by working alongside local community leaders to establish the Aquicuana Reserve. Further steps include increasing the knowledge and understanding of the Reserve and its wildlife. With a research station, we can attract leading international researchers & educators to train a new generation of conservationists. We can effectively monitor ecosystem, health, increase the size of the Reserve, and establish sustainable livelihood opportunities for its residents. Through a better understanding we can more easily implement other suitable projects correctly and adequately. For instance, a big future project will be the reforestation of the Reserve and surrounding areas. Knowledge about plants is necessary to undertake this project appropriately.

The research station will be situated in Pisatahua, a part of the Aquicuana Reserve which is used for plant medicine and as a place to reside for any of Sustainable Bolivia’s volunteers, interns and researchers. It is also used by biologists and researchers from all over the world. Thus, the research/conservation station will be accessible for both amateur and professionals, with the shared interest of the amazon and its nature. The costs for this project include the making of routes, salaries for workers, and materials for the construction, to furnish and equip the station.

Why donate?

In the coming years, we will work to extend the size of the reserve considerably. To do this we need scientific studies that demonstrate the ecological “value” of the reserve to influence policy makers. At the same time we need to generate sustainable livelihood opportunities for residents inside the reserve so they too will support its expansion. This is where the research/conservation station can be effective.

Sustainable Bolivia want to say a big “Thank you!” to all of those that have helped us in the process and to those that have donated and/or shared our story. If you want to contribute to our fundraiser, check out the link below, we are thankful for any contribution! Please help us in our journey to establish the research/conservation station in the Aquicuana Reserve and join the fight to keep the amazon alive!