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Comunarios combatientes forestales

Cover photo: Community members belonging to District 3 of Tiquipaya training as forest combatants. Dennis Mollinedo – Asociación Armonía

Communities residing in Tunari National Park are undergoing training to join the second brigade of forest firefighters, equipping them to protect their native forests and confront the impending dry season in Cochabamba. These comprehensive training programs have been designed to empower the communities with essential tools and knowledge for effective fire prevention and combat.

From June 9th to 10th, training sessions were conducted for residents of Cruzani, La Phia, Totora, Thola Pujro, and Linkho Pata, all belonging to the 3rd District of Tiquipaya within Tunari National Park. The training activities will continue on the 16th and 17th of this month. This significant undertaking is organized by the Asociación Armonía in collaboration with the Risk and Disaster Management Unit of the Departmental Autonomous Government of Cochabamba, the Municipal Government of Tiquipaya, and the dedicated staff of Tunari National Park.

Rilver Juan Condori Claros, the first response technician from the Response Unit of the Departamental Autonomous Government of Cochabamba, highlighted the crucial role of community involvement. “It is of vital importance to work with the communities as they can provide the initial response due to their proximity to the affected areas. In case they are overwhelmed, they can work in a coordinated manner with the municipality and the government. The communities themselves have a good knowledge of the area and the trails.”

According to Omar Oporto, the coordinator of the “Restoration of the Tunari National Park” project by Asociación Armonía, conducting these training programs prior to the San Juan festivities holds significant importance. It not only prepares the communities but also raises greater awareness about the dangers associated with forest fires.

In an effort to bolster preparedness and enhance the response to forest fires, residents from La Phia and Molinos actively participated in the Departmental Contingency Plan Presentation, organized by the Departmental Government of Cochabamba on Wednesday, the 7th. This collaborative initiative aims to foster joint efforts among all the involved institutions.

During the presentation of the Departmental Contingency Plan organized by the Departmental Government of Cochabamba

The native forest restoration program on the southern slope of Tunari forms a crucial part of the Acción Andina initiative. This program has received support from esteemed organizations such as Global Forest Generation, ECOAN – Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos, Darwin Initiative, and Trillon Trees.

First Brigade of 50 Community Forest Firefighters Trained to Safeguard Tunari National Park

Armonia, a leading conservation organization, has successfully completed training activities in Tunari National Park, forming the first brigade of forest firefighters. This initiative has empowered over 50 community members from the localities of Cruzani, La Phia, Totora, Thola Pujro, Linkho Pata, and the community of Molinos, belonging to District 3 and District 4 of Tiquipaya.

During the months of June and July 2022, community members underwent comprehensive training, focusing on government coordination work. They were educated on current regulations related to fire prevention and combat, ensuring their familiarity with the necessary protocols and procedures to carry out their duties effectively.

The training sessions went beyond theoretical knowledge, with practical exercises covering crucial aspects of firefighting operations. First aid practices were conducted, equipping community members with essential skills to address injuries or emergencies during firefighting activities. Moreover, participants received hands-on training in the use of specialized equipment and firefighting techniques. They were guided on proper tool usage, fire control methods, organizational strategies, and combat tactics.

The formation of this first brigade marks a significant milestone in enhancing fire prevention and response capabilities within Tunari National Park. The trained community members now possess the expertise and readiness to swiftly address and combat forest fires, preserving the park’s unique biodiversity and ensuring the safety of surrounding areas.

Asociación Armonia’s continued efforts to collaborate with local communities and government entities in protecting Tunari National Park emphasize the importance of shared responsibility and proactive engagement. By investing in training and capacity building, Armonia aims to strengthen the resilience of these communities and promote sustainable conservation practices.

More than 50 community members from Tunari Park received training during June and July of 2022. Photo: Rodrigo Soria.

About Asociación Armonia:

Asociación Armonia is a conservation organization dedicated to protecting biodiversity and ecosystems in Bolivia. With a focus on threatened birds, community engagement and scientific research, Armonia strives to create sustainable conservation solutions and promote environmental awareness. For more information about Asociación Armonía, please visit:


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