The creation and development of ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION TARIJA – PROMETA, is proof that dreams can come true. The organization was created January 26 1990 by a group of volunteer students, and since then has become one of the most prestigious environmental institutions of Bolivia.
At an early stage, PROMETA managed to come up with a group of protected areas where the most important ecosystems of Tarija were represented. Reserves such as Tariquía and Sama, were legally, physically and financially consolidated by PROMETA and were later transferred to the National Service of Protected Areas SERNAP, which took over their administration. That was the fundamental achievement of this organization during its first 10 years.
In a second phase, starting in the year 2000, PROMETA became the main driver of growth of the “local” Protected Areas in the country (Municipal, Departmental, and of civil society). Until now, our contribution has been of over 60 conservation sites like this in Bolivia. And today, the organization also supports indigenous communities, and farming communities in the implementation of conservation areas and the sustainable use of natural resources.
It is also important to point out that this organization has worked in the conservation of endangered species such as the Andean bear or Jucumari (Tremarctus ornatus) and the guanaco (Lama guanicoe). Meanwhile other animal species have been studied and we are supporting the discovery of new species in the four ecoregions of the Department.
In this new phase, PROMETA has also successfully dealt with the productive projects situated in important areas for sustainable development. One of our biggest accomplishments in this has been the re population of camelids in Tarija’s Altiplano, which in turn has contributed in a decisive manner with the conservation of the native prairie. In a span of 12 years, the project achieved an increase in Llama numbers from 300 to over 12.000, and the reduction of introduced species such as sheep and donkeys. Furthermore, PROMETA has successfully addressed productive projects centered in beekeeping, pig farming, sheep farming, quinoa farming, school and community gardens, and family agriculture.
In other areas, the organization has contributed in a decisive manner with the development of methodologies for the alleviation and adaptation to climate change at the local level and also planning in this area. In the last years, we have carried out over 10 Municipal Plans on Climate Change and the first Department Plan on Climate Change in Bolivia.
Finally, we must point out the intense work put in the appreciation of environmental functions and the integrated management of water. At this moment, PROMETA is carrying out the hard work of aquifer sanitation and the conservation of water resources in Tarija.