Andean Bear

Our Partnership with Programa Jucumari

Embark on a journey with Women for Conservation as we team up with the Jucumari Program to champion Andean Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) conservation in Cochabamba, Bolivia. In a landscape where these majestic bears roam freely, human-wildlife conflict becomes a pressing concern, threatening both bear populations and local communities. Programa Jucumari, is a community conservation project named after the endangered Andean or Spectacled Bear known as “jukumari” in Aymara and Quechua, or “ukumari” in Quechua. The Andean Bear is the only bear native to South America and is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist.

In the heart of Cochabamba, where the rugged beauty of the Andes meets vibrant communities, our collaborative efforts with Programa Jucumari are making waves. We’re diving headfirst into meaningful conversations with partner communities, advocating for formal protection of these incredible bears. Armed with cutting-edge tools like ArcGIS, we’re mapping out bear habitats and grazing areas, working with ranchers to relocate their cattle and minimize potential conflicts to avoid bear killings. Our women’s sustainable living weaving program isn’t just about crafting beautiful textiles– it’s about empowering women to become agents of change. By providing sustainable income opportunities, we’re not only supporting livelihoods but also fostering a deeper appreciation for biodiversity.

With your donation, we can help Programa Jucumari protect the Andean Bear from extinction. Together, we’re forging a path towards harmony and positive transformation!

Andean Bear

The Inspiring Story of Programa Jucumari 

The Jucumari Program is a community conservation initiative focused on promoting coexistence between the Andean Bear and partner communities, reducing human-wildlife conflict in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The project began in 2021 with an initial assessment identifying retaliatory killing of bears as the primary direct threat to the species, with economic losses driving this behavior. Through a collaborative process with the Corral Pampa Community, we are supporting identifying a sustainable economic alternative to support the project, following our community-based approach.

On August 25, 2022, we achieved a significant milestone with the enactment of the first municipal law to protect the Andean bear, thanks to our technical data confirming the species’ presence in the area. We now have a structured agenda to collaborate on law regulations with relevant experts in Andean bear conservation in Bolivia, local and municipal agencies.

Andean Bear

Women’s Sustainable Weaving Program

In the early stages of Programa Jucumari, women advocated for supporting textile production by artisans in the community. This sparked the launch of a pilot initiative aimed at boosting sales of handcrafted textiles, not only to bolster the local economy but also to champion species conservation efforts. With initial success in sales and plans to increase prices to direct profits toward conservation, the project is gaining momentum. Beyond its economic impact, the initiative has forged strong bonds between women, leading to regular gatherings where we delve into topics like weaving, environmental issues, wildlife, and the beloved Andean bear. These discussions have revealed the complexities of species conservation and the importance of community involvement. While we’ve made strides in mitigating bear-human conflict, addressing direct threats to the species and minimizing bear attacks on livestock remain our key priorities. In collaboration with Programa Jucumari, our vision is to empower local women weavers as conservation leaders, driving community-led efforts to reduce conflict and expand the textile initiative across the region. With solid agreements secured with both the Municipal Government and the Corral Pampa Community, we’re fostering positive relationships and paving the way for lasting change.

Protecting the Andean Bear from Bolivia to Colombia

Women for Conservation is also protecting the charming Andean Spectacled Bear in the municipality of San Vicente de Chucurí, Santander near the ProAves Reinita Cielo Azul Reserve. This majestic bear, known as the guardian of the highlands and water, is native to the Andean forest ecosystems, which spread from Bolivia to Colombia. As a seed disperser, the bear travels through the forest and highlands, dispersing seeds and contributing to the regeneration of these ecosystems. Below is a charming video of our Andean Bear recorded on our camera trap doing the same dance as Baloo in the Jungle Book!

Join us in this vital mission to safeguard the Andean Bear and cultivate sustainable livelihoods for local communities. Together, we’re weaving a future where humans and wildlife coexist harmoniously, ensuring the survival of these magnificent creatures for generations to come.

As we journey forward, we celebrate our achievements – from securing legal recognition of Andean Bears as cultural heritage to shifting perceptions and empowering women economically through sustainable weaving. But our vision extends far beyond milestones– it’s about creating a legacy of harmony and coexistence. Your support fuels this positive change, so come, join us, and let’s weave a brighter future for Andean Bears together!

Andean Bear

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