Conservation of the Ñembi Guasu indigenous reserve

partner since 2022



in cooperation with Nativa Bolivia


The Indigenous Reserve of Ñembi Guasu (meaning ‘the great hideout’ in Guaraní language) covers 1.2 million hectares of largely intact Chaco dry forest. The area is home to the Guaraní population as well as the isolated Ayoreo indigenous community. The creation of the reserve is based on the Guarani worldview: ‘Yaiko Kavi Pave’, meaning ‘To live well’). The Guarani have a culture that considers nature essential to their survival. The area connects two large National Protected Areas (Kaa Iya del Gran Chaco and Otuquis) and is home to several species such as the chacoan peccary, jaguar, giant armadillo, puma, chacoan titi monkey, black howler monkey, tapir and giant anteater.

Since its establishment in 2019, Ñembi Guasu has been administered by the Autonomous Indigenous Government of Charagua Iyambae. It is the first protected area that was created by an Autonomous Indigenous government in Bolivia. Urgent themes are avoiding deforestation by cattle ranching, agriculture and by massive wildfires (which destroyed more than 150,000 hectares in 2019 and 2021). It is important to ensure assisted natural regeneration where necessary. Additionally, the project works to increase the national visibility and support for Ñembi Guasu.

The indigenous government of Charagua Iyambae is in dire need of funding, knowledge and management skills to ensure the long-term survival of their reserve.

This project is also supported by World Land Trust and Nature & Culture International.

Working towards

Good management of the Ñembi Guasu reserve in Bolivia based on local indigenous values and providing connectivity in the Chaco-Pantanal conservation landscape.


  • Adequate management with strong local ownership;
  • Create of a long-term financing mechanism;
  • Gaining public and political support for the protection of the Nembi Guasu reserve.