From May 12 to 17, Chiquitano Model Forest in Bolivia hosted representatives from 14 countries across the region for the annual Ibero-American Model Forest Network Board of Directors’ meeting.
Organized by the Foundation for the Conservation of Chiquitano Forest (FCBC) and the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), more than 60 participants spent the week sharing knowledge, viewing practical and effective landscape management practices and making decisions on the future of the regional network.
The initial two days were spent sharing knowledge and identifying opportunities and challenges related to land tenure and water management, both locally and within the context of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Following the workshop, participants traveled to three locations throughout the 20 million hectare Chiquitano Model Forest to view local agroforestry projects, land management initiatives and research sites providing tangible and practical examples of good landscape management practices that are appealing to a broad spectrum of stakeholders ranging from forest conservation authorities to cattle ranchers.
With respect to the regional network, members unanimously agreed to change the name of the Network from the “Ibero-America Model Forest Network” to the “Latin American Model Forest Network” to better reflect its composition and identity.
Brazil’s fifth Model Forest, Hileia Baiana, was also accepted as a full member. The 2.4M ha site is located within the renown coastal Altantic Forest (Mata Atlântica) – a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot within the states of Bahia and Espíritu Santo. This bring the total number of Model Forests to 61 sites in 37 countries around the world, 34 of which are in Latin America.