One Health for the Amazon Forest with Tacana people, Bolivia
The Tacana indigenous people are dispersed in the tropical Andes, an area composed of Amazonian rainforest and savannah, mountains, cloud and dry forests, which is considered as one of the most biodiverse regions in the world due to its altitude gradient of biodiversity. It harbors one of the highest bird diversity in the world and is a stronghold for many endangered species like the jaguar.
Madidi National Park, Eastern Andes
Threatened Ecosystem and Wildlife
Amazonian rainforest and savannah
One of the most biodiverse protected areas on earth, holding 3-4% of the world’s vertebrates and 11% of bird species
Tacana indigenous communities whose livelihood is based on their relationship with the Amazon forest
One Health Challenges
Malnutrition (anemia in women, poor growth & stunting in children, parasitism), loss of livestock / diseases & predation, no source of income, loss of Tacana language
Reinstate and promote traditional weaving activities which symbolizes Tacana spiritual relation with nature as source of income
Improve domestic animal health & management
Promote traditional environmental knowledge & use of medicinal plants
The Tacana have got an intimate knowledge of the surrounding forests which form the basis of their livelihood and most likely helped them to be the only indigenous group that Pizarro could not conquer. Since they have regained legal rights over their ancestral land over 15 years ago, the deforestation rates have declined considerably and natural resources are now used a lot more sustainably. Watch video
Tacana families have their health and nutritional status seriously compromised today by a reduction in diet diversity due to reduced access to their natural resources, the poor productivity of their domestic animals and the absence of alternative sources of income.
In partnership with the Indigenous Tacana Women’s organization (CIMTA) and WCS-Bolivia we have restored the ancient art of weaving for women in eight communities, which you can Buy here. Women are the only custodians of the woven symbols which illustrate their deep connectedness with nature. This has empowered women socially by restoring confidence and pride, economically by providing some income and culturally by promoting the use by younger women of the original Tacana language.
We have also improved family health and animal health and productivity by providing training into health care and management of livestock kept by women, while also promoting the use of medicinal plants.
We are now expanding these activities to other Tacana communities.