Securing Indigenous Livelihoods in the Chiquitanía: The Role of Environmental NGOs. A research towards the role and impact of ENGOs in contributing to indigenous peoples’ livelihoods in the Chiquitanía, Bolivia

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The unique eco-region of the Chiquitanía, located in the eastern part of Bolivia, has been hit with forest fires and dry conditions, attracting many Environmental NGOs (ENGOs). At the same time, the livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples living in this region are threatened by climate change, tensions within and between various indigenous groups, and the government’s development plan and its economic policies. As strong and sustainable livelihoods are essential to healthy ecosystems, the objective of this thesis is to provide a first, explorative analysis on the roles and impact of ENGOs focusing on securing livelihoods of indigenous communities. This thesis followed a qualitative, exploratory, single-case study research design. A document analysis of ENGO documents was carried out, supplemented by interviews. The analysis of both the documents and interviews was primarily based on the Sustainable Livelihood Framework (designed by DFID) and the ENGO typology of Slavíkova et al. (2017). In general, it can be concluded that although ENGOs only seem to have a rather limited impact on contributing to indigenous livelihoods, they can contribute through several strategies. For example, enhancing capacities to deal with shocks and focus on how to defend territorial rights.
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