In a special corner of Bolivia lies the community of San Manuel, where the courage and determination of Nardi Velasco shine brightly. She has become the first cacique of the 16 indigenous communities in the municipality of Roboré, leading the Central Indígena Chiquitana Amanecer Roboré - CICHAR.
Motivated by the defence of water in her territory, Nardi has joined the Voices for Just Climate Action programme. Its main objective is to empower the women of Central Indígena to actively participate in capacity building and acquire knowledge about their individual and collective rights, especially regarding water protection in their community.
The territory that Nardi and her community protect is called TUCABACA, a natural jewel that is home to the best-preserved dry forest in the region. Its waters not only supply the community of Roboré, but also flow subway into the Paraguayan Chaco and the prestigious Otuquis marshland, a Ramsar site recognized worldwide. The conservation of TUCABACA is crucial to maintaining the flow of the Tamengo channel, a vital part of the Paraguay-Paraná waterway.
However, this beautiful territory faces multiple threats. Land encroachment, uncontrolled fires, lack of adequate land management and other factors exert constant pressure on this valuable natural area.
Thanks to the workshops and activities of the project Voces para la Acción Climática Justa – VAC / Voices for Just Climate Action – VCA, Nardi has been able to mobilize more than 50 women from the Central Indígena. These courageous women have acquired new skills and knowledge that allow them to defend their territory and way of life with determination.
United by their love for the land and water, these indigenous women have become guardians of their natural heritage. Empowered and aware of its importance, they are ready to face all challenges to preserve TUCABACA and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.
The story of Nardi Velasco and the women of the Central Indígena Chiquitana Amanecer Robore – CICHAR is an inspiring testimony of resilience and environmental protection. It reminds us of the importance of working together to safeguard our natural resources and promote climate justice, with the hope that others will also join in this noble cause.