Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Armonia, a Bolivian conservation non-governmental organization, was founded in 1996. Its mission is to conserve Bolivia’s birds and their habitats, creating a country where wildlife and people can thrive. Armonia achieves its mission by establishing and managing protected areas, reforesting critical habitat, engaging local and indigenous communities, conducting educational campaigns, and carrying out scientific research. Among Armonia’s accomplishments are:
- Protection and management of four private reserves, totaling more than 12,000 hectares (approximately 29,700 acres), that provide critical habitat for the globally endangered Blue-throated Macaw, Palkachupa Cotinga, Red-fronted Macaw, Maned Wolf, and dozens of other threatened species.
- With support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), a "Conservation and Restoration Plan for the Polylepis Forests of Madidi and Cotapata National Parks" was completed in 2018, and put into action. The Plan was a team effort, with input and support from key stakeholders including Madidi and Cotapata National Park staff, local communities, SERNAP, FUNDESNAP, and Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny.
- Successful educational campaign that significantly reduced the illegal capture and trade of Blue-throated Macaw Parrots.
Rodrigo W. Soria Auza obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón in Cochabamba, Bolivia. In 2003, he led teams of biologists in identifying Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) in Bolivia, a collaborative project between the University of Glasgow, Armonía, and the Noel Kempff Mercado Natural History Museum. Later, he developed the Stone Tuft Guan Conservation and Research Program. Rodrigo was the first biologist to document the population of this endangered species in the TIPNIS (Indigenous Territory and Isiboro Sécure National Park). In 2009, he obtained a PhD at the University of Goettingen in Germany. Rodrigo returned to Armonía in 2011 as Director of Conservation Programs and has served as Executive Director since August 2016. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of BirdLife International’s Regional Council for the Americas since September 2018.
Acción Andina Project Leader
Omar Oporto Daza is a forest engineer who has worked for numerous institutions managing and inspecting environmental and natural resource conservation projects. He has a deep interest in forest management. Before joining the Armonía team, he was responsible for the Forestation, Reforestation, and Comprehensive Forest Management Project in the department of Cochabamba, executing the improvement of nurseries, production of seedlings, forest management, afforestation campaigns, and monitoring.