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Sustainable Development: a Letter from Porvenir
by Director de Porvenir
Village Power 2000 Team Bolivia Porvenir
source: Escuela Porvenir

Porvenir, Depto de Santa Cruz, Bolivia •• Oct. 27, 2000 •• SolarQuest® iNet News Service ••

Indigenous Cabildo of Porvenir
Santa Cruz, Bolivia
c/o Hal Peacock
hpeacock@fan-bo.org

To whom it may concern:

Dear Sir / Madam,

Our community of Porvenir was founded during the rubber boom. We have a tradition of using the resources of our forests but in such a way that is not sustainable. This has happened to us with the rubber, alligators and caimans, wild cats, macaws, and the mahogany. Now, we are participating in the Climate Action Project as one of the communities which neighbors the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park. The Project has been a great benefit to us. We have received important training which makes possible the strengthening of our organizations and the sustainable use of our remaining natural resources, such that our children and grandchildren can count on have the same resources. We have developed management plans for our forests, and we are studying the fishing potential of our river. Also, we have developed an internal regulation for preventing forest fires and, aware of the greenhouse effect problem, we keep our land clearing for crop production to a minimum.[*]

With help from the Project, we are in the process of acquiring legal title to our traditional lands, which are adjacent to the Park. This makes us happy because it allows us to continue a relationship of mutual support. The Park serves us as a "nursery" for raising animals, which we hunt according to our custom, when they come into our Territory. The Park is also an attraction for tourists, which could turn out to be an economic benefit for us. At the same time, our Territory serves as a buffer zone for the Park, since we manage our forests well and we prevent the entry of others who might present a threat to the Park.

The silvipastoral systems, rotation of annual crops, perennial crops, medical assistance, educational support, road improvements and others, tend to greatly improve our quality of life.

This sustainable development project benefits our community as well as others, which neighbor the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park in Bolivia. The donation to our community of the solar power and satellite systems, other equipment [computers, lights and a freezer/refrigerator for medicine and vaccines] and training to use the equipment and the education program which allows us access to the Internet via satellite, opens many possibilities in the world of education and sustainable development.

Sincerely,

[signed]
Arnoldo Saucedo
General Cacique (Elected Community Leader), Cabildo Indigena Porvenir

[signed]
Ivar Vaca Saucedo
President, CIBAPA (Regional Indigenous Organization)


* Note: This letter was translated from the Spanish by Hal Peacock and edited for this context by Paul Loeffelman.

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