IUCN National Committee of Bolivia Seminar on "Indigenous Autonomous Regions and the Governance of Land and Natural Resources"

09 December 2009 | News story

A seminar on "Indigenous Autonomous Regions and the Governance of Land and Natural Resources" was held in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, as part of the wider project "Improving the livelihood of indigenous people in the mountain areas in Bolivia and Peru, through greater security of land tenure and access to resources", implemented by the IUCN Regional Office for South America (SUR), and the IUCN Bolivian and Peruvian Committees of IUCN.

This event brought together government agencies, in particular the Ministries for Development, Indigenous Autonomous Regions, the Environment and Water, together with indigenous organizations and agencies for development and the environment.

Bolivia's Political Constitution defines a new system of levels of autonomy (departmental, regional, indigenous and municipal), where land management, natural resources and biodiversity are key issues. The Bolivian Committee IUCN considers it a priority to provide opportunities for debate on this issue, in order to contribute to the direction of policies and action.

The project mentioned above is part of a global project implemented by IUCN with funding from the Department for International Development, United Kingdom - DFID that seeks to improve the governance of natural resources to support poverty reduction. In Bolivia and Peru, the project works to develop of indicators of good living that reflect the aspirations of indigenous highland cultures, and the creation of spaces and opportunities for analyzing issues related to indigenous governance and biodiversity.

At the La Paz seminar, Gonzalo Oviedo, IUCN Senior Adviser on Social Policy, coordinator of the overall project, outlined the progress of the institution in the field of indigenous governance in protected areas. Indigenous leaders from Conamaq (the National Council Consejo Nacional de Markas y Ayllus del Qollasuyu), an organization representing the indigenous communities and organizations in the highlands of Bolivia, presented their proposals on indigenous land management in the region.

The seminar participants worked to elaborate ideas and recommendations on the theme of the event. Subsequently, the Bolivian Committee held a working meeting of its technical team and its members with Gonzalo Oviedo, on issues relating to the implementation of this joint project.

For more information: Cynthia Silva, Executive President , PRODEMA, La Paz – Bolivia.