Taking advantage of the 5th annual visit of Antonio Romero, our main counterpart from the Canadian Think Tank Initiative, INESAD organized a joint dinner for our main donors on the 28th of May 2015 in La Paz.
Antonio Romero has personally observed INESAD evolve from a tiny, informal group of friends in 2010 into the highest ranked think tank in Bolivia in 2015. In contrast, this is the first time that Ole Thonke, Ambassador of the Royal Danish Embassy in Bolivia, got to meet the whole team at INESAD.
The Danish Cooperation in Bolivia has a Fund for Civil Society (FOSC) in the area of integral and sustainable management of forests. This fund had invited groups of civil society organizations to submit proposals for concrete projects in three Bolivian priority areas by the 31st of December 2014. INESAD joined a consortium led by Conservation International – Bolivia, and we worked through the Christmas vacation and submitted a proposal for the Northern La Paz priority region. To our great frustration, however, our proposal was not selected, which is why we informally call our group “FOSC-Mortem.”
However, all involved institutions are still very much interested in contributing to the sustainable development of the region around Rurrenabaque, which we all adore tremendously. Most of the institutions in our group have decades of experience in the region, but we know that it is not easy to contribute to the sustainable development of a region from the outside. With our humble experiences, and with two bags of Lego Duplo, we set out to explore what we could possibly contribute in this area.
INESAD’s Christmas Party this year was held on December 16 immediately after the Assembly of the Founders of Fundación INESAD, during which it was decided that, from the 1st of January 2015, Carlos Gustavo Machicado will be the new Executive Director of INESAD, Osvaldo Nina will be the General Manager and Oscar Molina will return as member of the Board of Directors.
With these important management decisions out of the way, the traditional Christmas Games could begin with all the staff of INESAD.
To celebrate INESAD’s 8th anniversary, and several other small and large recent achievements, we organized a “Mini World Cup” at INESAD on the 15th of July 2014.
The main reason for celebration was the confirmation of the 2nd phase of the Think Tank Initiative, which will provide INESAD with core funding until March 2019. In addition, we just signed a Framework Agreement with the Royal Danish Embassy in La Paz, which will provide funding for two of INESAD’s priority research areas: Environment and Labor Markets, for the next three years.
One of the best one-day hikes from La Paz is the one from the Valley of Spirits to Palca through the Palca Canyon. It has to be done on a sunny day, as you walk in the river bed and don’t want to be surprised by a flash flood from behind. The best time of the year to do this hike is just by the end of the rainy season when the fields are green and the meadows full of flowers. This year the rainy season was unusually long and unpredictable, so we didn’t get to go until the 4th of May, by which time most of the fields had been harvested and the flowers disappeared. Still, with the Illimani mountain in the background and the impressive red canyon walls, it is always a beautiful trip.
This year we put together a diverse INESAD-CARE-CAF-GoB-family group of adventurers, and here is the group at the start of the hike:
INESAD received a small grant from IDRC to carry out a Knowledge Sharing course together with CEDA (Centro Ecuatoriano de Derecho Ambiental) in Quito, Ecuador in October 2013. The course was the last of 5 Climate Change Impact Evaluation courses held in Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay and Ecuador during the year 2013. Here is a group photo from the last day of the course, with the 3 trainers, Luis Carlos Jemio, Oscar Molina and Lykke Andersen, as well as participants from CEDA, Grupo Faro, the Ministry of Environment, UN-REDD and various universities: