Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Region

A tribal leader from the Andean Amazon gives a presentation at a BIA facility in the U.S.

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Region: DOI-ITAP's work in the LAC region focuses on a variety of priorities, ranging from energy independence in Argentina, environmental offsets in Colombia, protection of archeological sites in Guatemala, climate change adaptation in Panama, and counter wildlife trafficking throughout Central America, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Chile. These efforts, possible through partnerships with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), State Department, and others, have benefited from a long-term and strategic engagement in the region.   

In this region, DOI-ITAP technical assistance, at both regional and national levels, helps to strengthen:

  • Protected area management,
  • Climate adaptation,
  • Counter wildlife trafficking,
  • CITES,
  • Mining and oil & gas best practices,
  • Role of indigenous groups in land management,
  • Public participation,
  • Low impact roadways design,
  • Wildfire prevention & control,
  • Local community tourism,
  • Law enforcement,
  • Protected area conflict resolution,
  • Renewable energy, 
  • Geospatial capabilities.

DOI-ITAP currently works in the following LAC countries:

Belize Ecuador Nicaragua
Brazil El Salvador Panama
Chile Guatemala Peru
Costa Rica Guyana Suriname
Dominican Republic Honduras  

DOI-ITAP has completed activities in:  

Bolivia Jamaica



Chile: Strengthening biodiversity conservation through sound management of protected areas, strengthening implementation and enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and combating wildlife trafficking throughout the investigative and judicial chain of government. These activities are complimented through visitor interpretation and youth engagement and education events.

  • Primary Partner: State Department/ Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES)
  • Contact: Christina Kish

Central America & the Dominican Republic: Building capacity to implement and enforce CITES, counter wildlife trafficking at national and regional levels, and analyze data and information for sound government decision-making. Activities are tied to training, operational, and outreach efforts of the Central American and Dominican Republic Wildlife Enforcement Network (CAWEN, or ROAVIS in Spanish). 

  • Primary Partner: State Department/OES
  • Contact: Christina Kish

Guatemala: Strengthening environmental governance and law enforcement through streamlining the adjudication processes, standardized patrols, and increased public participation in the Maya Biosphere Reserve (BR) and nearby Chiquibul & Maya Mountains BR. Also supports local community tourism, the protection of archaeological sites and environmental education and interpretation, in addition to strengthening Guatemala-Belize binational efforts to reduce wildlife trafficking across the border. 

  • Primary Partner: Congressional Direct Apportionment, USAID/Guatemala, and State Department/OES
  • Contact: Cynthia Perera

Colombia/INL: Working with Colombian Government officials to reduce wildlife trafficking by building capacity to investigate and prosecute wildlife trafficking cases and improve the implementation and enforcement of CITES as a tool to regulate legal commerce, ensure sustainable levels of wildlife trade, and detect and deter illegal wildlife trade.

  • Primary Partner: State Department/International Narcotics & Enforcement (INL)/Bogota
  • Contact: Christina Kish

Colombia/EPIC: Providing the Colombian Government tools to help prevent and resolve environmental conflicts anticipated by the land use changes associated with the peace process. Mitigation of impacts to Colombia’s protected areas in the Amazon include the development of protocols for integrated government-community decision-making, as well as identifying and promoting environmental offsets for  expansion of the protected area system due to impacts of road development and other infrastructure.   

  • Primary Partner: USAID/Colombia through the “Environment Peace Initiative for Colombia” (EPIC)
  • Contact: Christina Kish

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