A sustainable alternative for the chiquitano forest in bolivia: the Cusi palm (Attalea speciosa Mart.)
Jessica Karla Torrico Valdez1, Claudia Raedig1, Anuschka Johanna Maria Van 't Hooft2, Elisabeth Huber-Sannwald3
1Technical University of Cologne, Inst. for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany
Well-managed natural forests can provide multiple benefits for different stakeholders. That is the case of the Chiquitano dry forest, that for many years provided multiple ecosystem services to the Amazon rainforest and the Gran Chaco and Pantanal. Unfortunately, in the last years, this forest suffered multiple wildfires. Land use in the region is impacting the state of conservation of biodiversity and its ecosystems, particularly in the community of San José de Campamento in San Ignacio de Velasco municipality, where terrestrial ecosystems are declining due to the constant conversion of forests areas into agricultural and livestock land. This area is characterized by the abundance of some Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFPs) that involve all goods of biological origin other than wood, derived from forests, other wooded lands, and trees outside forests. One of the most relevant NWFPs in the region is the Cusi palm (Attalea speciosa Mart.), a native species that has multiple uses and applications. Based on these critical facts, the main purpose of this research was to analyze stakeholders' perspectives on cultivating Cusi palm as a sustainable alternative for the Chiquitano dry forest in Bolivia. The specific objectives were addressed in a three-stage approach: In the first stage, to identify local knowledge about the productive potential of the Chiquitano Forest with a focus on the sustainable production of the Cusi palm. Second, to analyze the local perspectives on the limitations and potential of the sustainable production of the Cusi palm. Finally, to identify different scenarios for the sustainable production of the Cusi palm and to support biodiversity conservation in the study area, including holistic and long-term solutions. It was found that the sustainable management of the Cusi palm with an agroecological approach could contribute to reducing deforestation, preserving biodiversity, and promoting ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially acceptable management actions.
Keywords: Agroecology, biodiversity, Bolivia, cusi palm, noon-wood forest products, sustainable development
Contact Address: Claudia Raedig, TH Köln, Inst. for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, Betzdorfer Straße 2, 50679 Köln (Deutz), Germany, e-mail: claudia.raedigth-koeln.de