Since the early 1990’s, “community forestry” has taken the spotlight in conservation and development initiatives in the Bolivian Amazon, particularly among indigenous peoples. This paper will examine the cases of two culturally related indigenous groups, the Sirionó and Yuquí, who are both stakeholders in community forestry management projects. The first project, carried out among the Sirionó by the NGO (non-governmental organization) CIDDEBENI (Centro de Investigación y Documentación para el Desarrollo del Beni), was funded by several international NGOs and governmental entities. It was small-scale and the staff had in-depth knowledge of the indigenous culture, practiced careful planning, engaged in participatory decision-making, and provided continuous monitoring and documentation for assessment. As a result, the project has contributed positively to the cultural continuity and integrity of the Sirionó people and their economic development. The second project, targeted at the Yuquí and carried out by the USAID-funded forestry project BOLFOR (Bolivia Sustainable Forest Management Project), was a minor part of this large-scale and complex project, and the staff was lacking in knowledge of the indigenous culture, carried out little planning, and provided virtually no monitoring or oversight. This paper compares and contrasts these two forestry projects and the management decisions that contributed to their relative success or failure. An analysis is provided that addresses planning and implementation issues that should be considered for similar projects in the future.

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