The Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape is situated on the Eastern slope of the Andean mountain range, between north western Bolivia and southeastern Peru. This area covers approximately 110.000 km2 and is characterized by an impressive altitudinal range (180 to 6.100 m.a.s.l.), varied topography and climate that have resulted in diverse plant and animal communities and a high number of endemic species. It is estimated that around 12,000 species of vascular plants, 1,100 species of birds (11% of all the bird species in the planet) and around 300 species of mammals exist in this area.
Historically, diverse cultural groups settled down in the Tropical Andes, among them the Leco, Tacana, Araona, Esse Ejja, T´simane and Mosetene peoples. On the other hand, Aymara and Quechua speaking groups populated the highland areas and valleys. This region has been a space for cultural and economic interchange since the Pre Hispanic period, and nowadays, its majority rural population is roughly 260 thousand inhabitants (including Peru and Bolivia). Their main economic activity is agriculture combined with animal husbandry and the utilization of biodiversity resources (timber, Brazil nuts, incense, palm fruits, bush meat, fish).
Because of its importance for conservation, the governments of Bolivia and Peru established protected areas with outstanding biodiversity and conservation status: Madidi, Pilon Lajas, Apolobamba and Ixiamas in Bolivia, and Bahuaja Sonene and Tambopata in Peru. Together, these protected areas cover 4,200,055 hectares (42,000.55 km2). The conservation value of this landscape is particularly important as a transboundary area, ensuring the connectivity of ecosystems and the coordination of conservation efforts at a binational level.
In 1999, WCS started executing the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape Program, focusing their efforts on iconic and threatened species (Andean condor, Andean bear, jaguar, giant otter, maned wolf), searching to harmonize the requirements for human development with wildlife needs. The Program is oriented towards strengthening the links between protected areas and other land management units (communities, indigenous territories and municipalities), supporting integrated planning processes and the development of land management capacities. By working together with local allies and actors (social organizations, communities and productive associations), research and natural resource management experiences are being generated leading to concrete economic results and ecological sustainability.