About us


FAUNAGUA (Institute for Action-Research on Hydrobiological Resources) is a non-governmental non-profit organization, created in 2004. FAUNAGUA received its legal status (290/04, Cochabamba department) the same year, and has since then implemented a number of research projects oriented to sustainable local development, within the overall framework of conservation and management of the hydrobiological resources and wetlands of Bolivia . In 2007 FAUNAGUA formed a long-term alliance of long-term alliance with the Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS) in Cochabamba.


The integration of sustainable development with conservation and management of aquatic ecosystems and resources contributes to improving the quality of life.


In the line of the vision of FAUNAGUA, certain theoretical principles that mark the practical actions of the institution are mentioned:

  • Promote integrated conservation and development through strengthening processes of sustainable management of aquatic resources, using social, economic and ecosystem approaches.
  • Promote access and sustainable use of hydrobiological and fisheries resources taking care of equity, justice and social participation.
  • Respect the structures, dynamics, social rhythms and customs within a local cosmo-vision
  • Integration of scientific and local knowledge in the context of mutual respect.


The mission of FAUNAGUA is to promote and strengthen the capacity of the various stakeholders which interfere in the management, conservation and sustainable use of aquatic ecosystems and hydrobiological/fisheries resources, and support the development of adaptative strategies to climate variability and change, aiming at improving food security and sovereignty and the quality of life, and the alleviation of poverty. This is will be done through:
1) the generation and sistematization of technical-scientific and knowledge through participatory research processes;
2) strengthening the capacities of the different stakeholders to enhance their participation in local conservation and process development;
3) strengthening and supporting of the various stakeholders to influence the development and implementation of appropriate public policies;
4) creating and strengthening mechanisms that allow for a more efficiente interaction between the different stakeholders involved in the management of hydrobiological resources and fisheries;
5) support productive enterprises, local development and commercialization processes in the context of sustainability and social, economic and cultural equity.


The core strategies are the main references that guideline the actions of the institution:

  • Action-Research
  • Support to social and ethic enterprises and supply chains
  • Impact on public policies
  • Strengthening of local stakeholders
  • The transversal strategies play a role in supporting and complement the core strategies:
  • Methodological Innovation
  • Communication and environmental education
  • Strengthening the institutional management
  • Strengthening gender equity


FAUNAGUA has prioritized five major thematic working areas around the issue of conservation and sustainable use of Bolivian aquatic ecosystems and resources. These five areas, in which fall specific projects are:

  • Bio-commerce
  • Co-management of hydrobiological/fisheries resources
  • Environmental services (tourism, wetland conservation, etc.)
  • Food security and sovereignty
  • Adaptation to environmental change and variability


The working area of FAUNAGUA extends to the three main river basins of Bolivia (endorheic basins, La Plata river basin, Amazon river basin). However, we established four priority areas for action:

  • northern Bolivian Amazon (downstream basins of the rivers Madre de Dios, Beni, Orthon and Yata)
  • Iténez river basin (Precambrian Shield)
  • Mamoré river basin
  • Lower stretches of the Paraguay, Bermejo and Pilcomayo rivers


Strategic programs were established, which are progressively articulated in function of external funding:

  • Program “Emblematic and endangered species”
  • Program “Monitoring of hydrobiological/fisheries resources”
  • Program “fisheries, fish farming and food security”
  • Program “Integrated and sustainable use of reptile and fish derivatives”