Financial Education for Community Forestry Organizations in Guarayos, Bolivia
The native indigenous territory of Guarayos (Tierras Comunitarias de Origen – TCO) has a titled area of 1,343,646 ha, of which 90% are forests that are still in a good state of conservation, thanks to the 111 Community Forest Organizations (OFC) that execute their General Forest Management Plans in an area of 1,274,614 ha of forest.
However, the economic crisis, the collapse of the forestry sector and the COVID 19 pandemic are affecting profitability in the sale of timber forest resources by OFCs, and therefore putting the conservation of TCO Guarayos’ forests at risk.
IBIF, together with the PROFIN foundation with financial support from Tropenbos International, within the framework of the Green Livelihoods Alliance and the Working Landscape Program, have worked to improve the administrative and financial capacities of the OFC:
- At the grass-roots level, members of the OFC have acquired administrative and financial capacities – which in turn has improved the internal governance – through an educational program of basic financial; and
- At the OFC leadership level, business competitiveness has improved through the PLUS financial education program.
To help the OFC members to adapt to the new standard generated by the COVID-19 Pandemic, they were also trained to use digital technological financial mechanisms such as banking and digital payment mechanisms, and simple QR payment mechanisms.
A virtual platform was developed to provide the trainings due to the COVID-19 restrictions. This platform also allowed to monitor the learning progress of OFC members.
The success of the Forestry Organizations’ businesses, and the economic valuation of the forests through the sustainable use of their forest resources, will guarantee the conservation of the forests.
The following videos summarizes the activities of the project and the testimonies of the participants.