BIOSFERA-DHARMA AMAZONIAN RAIN FOREST
CONSERVATION OF WILDLIFE AND SUSTAINABLE HABITAT ~ BACKGROUND
The New Naradavan Forest (NNF) is a beautiful Amazon rain forest of 1.500 Hectares, located in the subtropical zone of the Oriental Andean Mountains, owned by a non-for-profit organization, the Biosfera-dharma foundation, a sub product organization from the Hare Krishna movement. Bolivia is cataloged as a Mega-diverse country and this zone is one of the richest in biodiversity in our planet.
The NNF neighborhood even though not densely populated, is a threat to the preservation of the Natural Forest. Unless a strong program is in place to help neighboring population improve ways of using lands and resources the area will be occupied and dilapidated. These neighbors came from a completely different environment, distant places, mostly cold in the high plateau. Those are communities from the quechua and aymara stock organized through syndicate leadership, which is linked to a major Federation of countrymen syndicates.
At present they grow mainly coca plus few fruits and yucca. As there is limitation by the drugs act to the extent of coca crops, people are constantly moving their plantations. Because the rain forest is very fragile, quite soon the land becomes infertile and is abandoned, thus yielding a serious damage to environment. In this way they invade new forests, cutting down trees and burning the vegetation, to start new coca plantations as they are chased by the drug enforcement agencies.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
The community was started in 1989, under the leadership of HH Somaka Swami, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada with some disciples, mainly from Italy, Peru and Bolivia. Unfortunately after some years, Maharaj became ill, leaving the place, which was soon also abandoned by his disciples and some years ago he passed away.
He was able to build some huts with water and sanitation facilities and plant enough crops for the maintenance of the community. It was also started a project to build a road as the place was located about 16 Km (10 miles) from the main highway. The road was stopped as people started to invade the place. Nowadays the road is finished and thus the camp and the land has been occupied, because we don’t have presence.
The proposed strategy requires strong actions both in mitigation and conservation. Mitigation based in reducing the potential threats by the neighbors, helping them develop alternative economy without degrading the forests, involving them in running ecotourism business to grow their appreciation of the precious wildlife and participating in obtaining funds from environmental protection programs.
The paradigm to conservation is the sacredness of life, thus the leading executors have strong spiritual values and decisive ecological habits, such as vegetarianism and simple living.
VEDIC CARE COOPERATIVE
Any community could be fostered in the place. There is a school and a medical post for primary care in the place. A major town with local government offices, hospital and contemporary facilities is located about 20 miles from the place.
In order to save at least part of the forest, we propose to constitute three areas of approximately 500 Hectares each
Wildlife sanctuary managed by Biosfera-dharma. It will include a research center open to scientific and nature loving fellows.
Botanical Park, ran by the local government of Villa Tunari, with an Ecolodge, that will provide means of income for locals, through providing services to the Park and the visitors.
Ecopueblo. Ecologycal village composed of two neighborhoods. Biosfera members and current coca growers. It will harmonize food, energy, housing and little scale agroforestry production with the forest environment.