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Project Trailer

The El Gran Paitití Project

A Resilient & Forest-friendly Economy

“Paitití”, better known as El Dorado, refers to a mystical Inca treasure lost somewhere in the rainforest of the Amazon. It represents a place of economic, cultural, and spiritual wealth, yet to be discovered. We believe that this is more than a legend. The Paitití Project seeks to uncover this treasure, by engaging the public into a vision of a balanced co-existence with Amazonian forests. 

The Paitití Project incubates resilient communities and resilience partnerships in the Amazon rainforest. Such a resilient economy is both people and forest-friendly, given that it decresases deforestation and vulnerability to climate change.

The project is aimed to be scalable, starting with the M-A-P Region covering Peru, Brazil and Bolivia as an initial case.

“Resilience starts from the belief that humans and nature are strongly coupled to the point that they should be conceived as one social-ecological system”
(Stockholm Resilience Centre).

Organizational Background

The Paitití Project is an umbrella project incorporating NGO's, government institutions, municipal partners, social organisations and other thematically interested parties. The project has been initiated by Paitití Lab and is steered by group of key partners, namely, Paititi Lab, Conservation International Bolivia, Avina Foundation Bolivia and Fundación Fautapo.

WHY?   Water, Food Security and Climate-Resilience
Amazonian forests have been recognized for their importance in balancing global climate. However, evidence on their role for regional water cycles and climate-resilience is growing by the year. Potential impacts may not only affect the 30 million people living in the Amazon, but also extend to large metropolises and farming areas across South America. - The Paititi Project connects Cities to the Amazon.
HOW?    Resilient Communities & Resilience Partnerships

What we do, is to gather evidence on existing solutions in sustainable land use and forest management that serve both humans, nations and the forest. These solutions are then transferred into entrepreneurial seed projects and a national dialogue around an innovative narrative of Amazonia. Our intervention design includes parallel and mutually reinforcing activities in the Amazon and in cities. Intended impacts are two-fold:

Resilient Communities: We help to identify and replicate climate-resilient solutions on the ground, empowering communities of small-scale farmers to increase their food security and preserve ecosystem functions. Our mission is to reach roughly 450 families, thereby restoring 900 hectares of land and reducing deforestation by 450 hectares per year.

Resilience Partnerships: At the same time, we promote a paradigm shift among decision-makers and the general public, compounding the potentials of a resilient economy in the Amazon, and exploring how cities can become attractive hubs of a resilient economy. 

The M-A-P Region (Peru-Brazil-Bolivia) - the initial case

El Gran Paititi is part of a growing movement that sees the Amazon as a global common good, as well as an inspiration for new paradigms on our relationship with ecosystems. The project is intended to become a replicable method and starts in the area of Madre de Dios-Acre-Pando Region, which has been under increasing stress through extreme events and a water crisis. In the MAP region, climate risks and the need for adaptation are an increasing concern.
The Paititi Project works by creating action on the ground and engaging society.

4 Pillars to Impact

Transforming the Amazon through Local Entrepreneurship & Urban Support

The Paititi Project unfolds along a sequence of 4 components or key “outputs,” which eventually will shape its impact. They consist of:
1 The Overview of Innovations and Best Practices
-   Gathering evidence on solutions across Amazonia.
2 Resilience Community Projects
-   Upscaling what works and creating impact on the ground.
3 The Amazonia Multimedia Festival
-   Mainstreaming resilience awareness across the country.
4 Urban Resilience Labs
-   Bringing in decision-makers: Link cities with Amazonia.

1 - Evidence helps Shape a New Narrative
The Innovations and Best Practices Overview

Based on a Trans-Amazonian “Call for Innovations for a Climate- Resilient Economy”, a hundred viable solutions will be published. Twenty of these - with a focus on land- and forest management in the MAP region-  are additionally evidenced through scientific field work. The publication covers the following fields. 1. Innovation in Land- and Forest management, 2. Markets and Value Chains, 3. Technology and Communications, 4. Bio-Tech and Medicine.
“In my lifetime, I have done all kinds of jobs. Nobody has to tell me what to do. I am a cook, I am a laundress and I work my land. For me all work is welcome. I know how to move in the rainforest, I know hunting, fishing, collecting brazil nuts, and I was a rubber tapper.”
May Lila Nacimento

2 - Replicating Best Practices for Impact on the Ground:
Resilient Communities Projects

The second step, the Resilient Community Projects, follow the “Innovation and Best Practices Overview”. The projects are designed to replicate and upscale the identified best practices. Economics of Climate Change Adaptation (ECA) Modelling will further embed risk considerations and adaptation strategies into the project designs. A minimum of three projects will be established in Madre de Dios, Acre and Pando Departments.
“We always have to think ahead. Around here many farmers are experimenting with agroforestry systems, as myself with coffee. We would also like to plow using tractors, as this would allow us to produce on deforested land and cut down less trees. We have a lot of initiative, all we lack is support to go ahead.”
Orlando Arroyo Andrade

3 - Urban Enthusiasm for the Amazon
The El Gran Paititi Multimedia Festival

The third step, called the El Gran Paititi Multimedia Festival, happens largely in parallel to the Resilient Community Projects. The intention is to mainstream insights of the Innovations and Best Practices Overview among a large audience. The Festival connects urban populations to Amazonia by means of an emotionally appealing audio-visual show, an educational outreach, and an Amazonian product fair.

The El Gran Paititi Multimedia Festival will literally connect urban and peri-urban populations with Amazonia, establishing a deep sense of appreciation for the potentials of these little known parts of the country.
The Amazonia Multimedia Festival brings together large-screen audio-visuals and elements of comedy for a new narrative on the national importance of Amazonia. 

4 - Leadership for Regional Resilience Hubs
Urban Resilience Labs

The fourth step, unfolds through Urban Resilience Labs that are hosted by municipalities along the Multimedia Festival tour. The Labs invite decision-makers to explore the potentials of a climate-resilient economy for their region and address the city’s link to Amazonia. Focal themes and questions are co-developed with hosting cities. The Labs also integrate insight from the ECA-Modelling process. Results and declarations of intent are published

The Gender Dimension

The Paitití Project uses a gender lens throughout its approach to ensure that women are no longer under-represented in the elaboration of solutions, and can unleash their full potential as key agents of change. In the Paitití Project, all teams have a 50/50 gender quota. A gender-sensitive perspective is applied in all research and activities.

Project Development TEAM


Latin American Program
Film and knowledge media producer-consultant with an expertise in environmental and sustainable development topics. Concluded his MSc in geography on climate change in Bolivia, which led to assignments in development projects in Latin America and East Africa. Lived and worked in Bolivia as a development professional for  5 years.


International Program
Filmmaker and Citizen Design expert with ample work experience in international contexts. Concluded a PhD in Sustainable Development and a Masters in Social Anthropology on participatory innovation. Started working as a filmmaker in 2000. Worked in Bolivia, Peru and Brazil for several long-term assignments   and project  development. 


Gender & CO-Design SPECIALIST
Nicole Schwab will be the project’s main methodological consultant and facilitator for the Policy-Vision Labs and the project’s gender dimension. She spent many years designing and facilitating Co-design processes for groups and organizations. Previously, she worked on gender and health sector reform projects in Latin America and Bolivia.


Roberto Méndez is the project’s main strategical advisor in Bolivia, due to his multi-thematic experience in complex national issues. He is an advisor to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, supporting water resources policies, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation for the Andean Region. Roberto is a Bolivian National.


& Coalition Partner
Chiaki Kinjo is a specialist in conflict transformation building on solid experience in bringing diverging views to be a source of new potentials. Chiaki has  played an important part in building up development projects all over the Amazon region, many of which were related to her position as a program coordinator at Avina Foundation, Bolivia.


& Coalition Partner
Andreas Preisig counts on an in-depth background with close to 40 years of operational experience in inspiring and managing capacity-building, forestry and natural resources, as well as disaster prevention-oriented projects all over Bolivia. Andreas is currently general manager of the largest Bolivian NGO, Fautapo.


Eduardo Forno, based on many years of experience accumulated in executive positions in United Nations Organizations and in international NGOs, provides to El Gran Paitití strategic guidance and deep thematic insights. He is currently the executive director of Conservation International in Bolivia.


Milton Guzman is an experienced film producer having worked for many years in all corners of Bolivia, including Amazonian Forest and its most remote locations. His latest work included the coordination of feature film productions for Bolivia's acclaimed director Jorge Sanjines and many international productions.
The Coalition for THE AMAZON
Comprised of NGO’s, government entities, social organizations, foundations, research institutions and private companies, the Coalition for the Amazon will be essential in shaping the implementation and results of the project. Most importantly, though, their participation "spreads" ownership of the Paititi Project across different segments of the MAP societies. Details of cooperation agreements are currently being negotiated with the following partners:

International Networks & NGOs

Bolivian NGOs and Consultancies

Applied Research & Scientific Collaboration


Asociación El Gran Paitití
Spyristrasse 38
8044 Zurich - Switzerland

Contact in Latin America:
Calle 6, Bloque 95 #402
Los Pinos
La Paz - Bolivia
+591 74669830
We are a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)