The creation and subsequent development of TARIJA – PROMETA ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION is a proof that dreams can become reality. The organization was born on January 26, 1990, made up of a group of volunteer students, and in this period has become one of the most prestigious environmental institutions in Bolivia.
In a first stage, PROMETA managed to structure a set of protected areas where the most important ecosystems of the Department of Tarija are represented. Reserves such as those of Tariquía and Sama were legally, physically and financially consolidated by PROMETA and subsequently transferred to the National Protected Areas Service SERNAP, which took over its administration. That, was the fundamental achievement of the organization in its first ten years of life.
In a second moment, starting in 2000, PROMETA became the main promoter in the country of so-called “local” protected areas (municipal, departmental and civil society). During this time, approximately sixty conservation units of this type have been consolidated throughout Bolivia. Currently the organization is also supporting indigenous peoples and peasant communities in the implementation of conservation units and sustainable use of natural resources.
It is also important to note that the organization has worked on the conservation of endangered species such as Jaguarari (tremarctus ornaturs) and guanaco (lama guanicoe). At the same time, studies have been carried out on other species and the discovery of new species in the four ecoregions of the Department has been supported.
In this new stage, PROMETA has also successfully approached productive projects located in areas of importance for sustainable development. One of our greatest achievements in this sense has been the repopulation of camelids in the Tarijeño plateau, which has contributed decisively to the conservation of the native prairie; in a period of 12 years, the project achieved that the number of llamas increased from 300 to more than 12,000 and the presence of exotic animals such as donkeys and sheep diminished decisively. PROMETA has also successfully approached productive projects focused on beekeeping, pig and cattle breeding, quinoa cultivation, school and communal orchards, and family farming.
In another area, the organization has made a decisive contribution to the development of methodologies for mitigation and adaptation to local climate change and planning in this field; in recent years we have carried out more than ten Municipal Climate Change Plans and the first Departmental Climate Change Plan of Bolivia.
Finally we must say that we have worked intensely in the valuation of environmental functions, and integral integral water management. At this moment promises to work hard for the rehabilitation of aquifers and conservation of water sources in Tarija.