From May 12 to the 17, the Chiquitano Model Forest in Bolivia hosted representatives from 14 countries within the region for the annual meeting of the Ibero-American Model Forest Network.
Organized by the Foundation for the Conservation of Chiquitano Forest (FCBC) and the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), the meeting took participants to three locations throughout the 20 million hectare Chiquitano Model Forest. A two-day workshop provided a forum for 60+ participants to share knowledge and identify opportunities and challenges of Model Forests relating to land tenure and water management, both locally and within the context of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Local agroforestry, land management initiatives and research sites in San Ignacio de Velasco and Concepción were also visited, providing tangible and practical examples of good landscape management practices that are appealing to a broad spectrum of stakeholders such as forest conservation authorities as well as cattle ranchers.
During the Board of Directors meeting, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, members unanimously decided to change the name of the regional network from the “Ibero-America Model Forest Network” to “Latin-American Model Forest Network” – a name that better reflects the identity of the membership.
Board members also accepted Brazil’s fifth Model Forest, Hileia Baiana as a full member. The 2.4M ha Hileia Baiana Model Forest is situated within the Altantic Forest (Mata Altantica) – a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot within the states of Bahia and Espíritu Santo. There are currently 61 Model Forests in 37 countries around the world, 34 of which are in Latin America.