Think Green or Piensa Verde (in Spanish) will also open opportunities for businesses and people to join this cause/initiative, with monetary contributions to support conservation projects, through volunteer opportunities or institutional support. Through a platform, a variety of social players will connect at an individual and institutional level, as a new way of committing themselves to conservation.
Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF), Conservation International (CI), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Fundación para la Conservación del Bosque Chiquitano (FCBC) (Foundation for the Conservation of Chiquitano Forest), Andes Amazon Association of Bolivia(ACEAA) and the Foundation for de Development of the Protected Areas System (FUNDESNAP) are the environmental NGOs that currently join this platform together with the VIVA Foundation, Bagó Bolivia S.A. Pharmaceuticals, Farmacorp, the Banco de Crédito de Bolivia BCP and the British Embassy.
Piensa Verde, through an innovative and pioneering model in Bolivia, promotes the establishment of alliances among different social sectors of society that are committed with the conservation of forests, protected areas and species, fundraising from the business private sector as well as from the Bolivian general public. It aims to communicate the need for conserving the environment, increasing knowledge and information on the matter; and at the same time economically supporting efficient conservation projects.
The platform will visualize the link between the urban dwellers and forests, protected areas and species. This connection will have as one of its benchmarks, improving the information and knowledge levels on the impacts of deforestation in our daily lives, our health and our economy, demonstrating the strong dependence we have with the environment and its quality. The second benchmark is related to a fundraising process, aiming at contributing financially to conservation projects that can assure access to water, air quality and access to other forest resources and environmental services.
The businesses and people will be able to be part of the platform and become #FansDeLaNaturaleza through monetary or in-kind contributions, participating in the projects as volunteers and providing institutional support. Additionally, PIENSA VERDE would like to contribute to achieve Bolivia´s international environmental commitments established in the Sustainable Development Goals promoted by the United Nations, in particular to SDG 15: Life on land: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss, a goal that has fallen well behind due to the fires in 2019 that affected 5.3 million hectares in Bolivia as a whole.
Deforestation and desertification caused by human activities and climate change entail great challenges for sustainable development and have affected lives and livelihoods of millions of people in the fight against poverty. The situation described worsens by the fact that nowadays there is not enough funding to face these problems. These last years, environmental foundations and NGOs that depended on international aid in Bolivia, have reduced dramatically. Public investment directed towards environmental conservation has also diminished and today, it represents less than 1% of the GDP. Lack of funding and other great environmental challenges need to be confronted by Bolivia, among them, the urgent need to reduce deforestation rates which these last years have placed us among the most deforesting countries in the world , other priority actions include rehabilitating the systems that were affected by the fires in 2019 , and protecting endangered species currently highly threatened by illegal trade and habitat loss.
Out of the 5.3 million hectares affected by the fires, 3.9 correspond to the department of Santa Cruz, and 1.2 million hectares in Beni. Consequently, the first call for projects that will be launched with the support of PIENSA VERDE will focus on the Chiquitanía.
The launching of the platform took place at Los Tajibos Hotel, with the participation of representatives from the different member NGOs of the platform, senior executives of the member businesses and other guests related to the environmental sector, as well as local and national authorities that manifested their concern and compromise with the cause.
In 2018 Bolivia lost a total of 154,488 ha of primary forest, positioning themselves as one of the five countries with the highest deforestation in the world (World Resources Institute, 2019).
In 2019, the Amigos de la Naturaleza Foundation (FAN) reported that nationwide, the total area burnt reached to 5,3 million in 2019 (FAN, 2019).