Last updated April 2010 
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Luz de América, Bolivia

In 2002, the MLA approach was applied in a survey of Luz de América, a village in the heart of the ‘Reserva Nacional de Vida Silvestre Amazonica Manuripi', in North Bolivia. This is an area of tropical moist forest, with abundant rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) and Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) trees. The economy of this area was historically based on rubber, but Bolivian rubber production came to a complete halt in the 1990s. Brazil nuts are now the most important NTFP, producing U$ 30 million per annum in exports. There have been frequent conflicts between the Reserve's management authority and communities in or near the Reserve, usually concerning the use of forest resources.

The red arrow originates from the village area of Luz de America, a satellite image of which is shown on the right.

CIFOR has worked for several years on the macro and micro-economics of forest products in the Northern Bolivia Amazon. A new Forest Law, several decentralisation laws and a revived process of land reform have had profound implications for the people living in the Reserve. The new laws provide a legal basis for indigenous communities' active participation as autonomous land users.

The MLA survey provided a good start for understanding how people view the land and natural resources in the area and for diagnosing what is important to them.

Publication (in Spanish):

Zapata, D.M.O., González, L.A., Larrea, J.F., González, B., Silva, E., Arellanos, A., Meo, S. y Jong, W. de (2003). Luz de América: Comunidad y Biodiversidad Amazónica. CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia.