Kew's projects in Bolivia

In Bolivia Kew has been working with local partners to identify conservation priorities, to support the development of protected areas and to catalogue the extraordinary diversity of the country's Compositae (daisy) family.

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05 Apr 2011

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Pressing plants in Bolivia

Pressing plants in Bolivia

Kew has been involved in two major collaborative initiatives, with support from the UK Darwin Initiative, to study the poorly known flora of the Central Andean valleys and the Cerrado (savanna) vegetation in the east of the country. These projects have resulted in the discovery of many new species, have provided training for young Bolivian botanists, and have identified a number of areas of high biodiversity in need of conservation effort.

This work has been accompanied by the development of information resources (manuals, leaflets and posters) raising public awareness and facilitating practical conservation efforts.

Near Comarapa, for example, Kew has been working with the Noel Kempff Mercado Natural History Museum to provide baseline vegetation data and conservation recommendations for the establishment of a new municipal protected area rich in cactus species: the Jardín de Cactáceas de Bolívia.

Kew has been working with local partners to support the establishment of this reserve, helping to develop a management plan based on a sound understanding of the local vegetation. The work involved species inventories, vegetation mapping and training of local people.

The report submitted to the municipal authorities has helped to identify conservation priorities, appropriate management techniques and opportunities for sustainable use of native plants. Posters distributed throughout the region have helped to raise awareness of the importance of conserving local biodiversity.

Kew botanists have also been undertaking long-term studies of the taxonomy of key plant groups in the country. Nicholas Hind, for example, has developed a preliminary online checklist of the daisy family (Compositae) of Bolivia, a highly diverse and economically important group of plants.

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