The Arbolivia Project

ArBolivia is a social enterprise solution to deforestation in the Bolivian Amazon, which is driven by poverty and poor land management in the form of slash and burn subsistence farming.  The project enables poor farmers to better manage their land whilst helping them to grow, harvest and sell native hardwood trees.  Not only does this result in reforestation, but it means the rainforest is protected from further encroachment.  Early revenues from timber are reinvested to provide project support and future surplus revenues will shared equally between farmers who own the land and look after the trees, and investors who fund operational costs to breakeven. As a registered not-for-profit society, our own share of any profits will be reinvested for the benefit of our target communities in Bolivia

The ArBolivia Project was designed to be very different to most sustainable forestry projects, with the welfare of farmers at the heart of what we do:

Timber profits are shared equally

Farmers have the final say in what they grow

10 native species of trees create biodiversity - not green deserts

A business approach makes it sustainable and scaleable

The first revenues are expected imminently

Discover what makes us distinctive

The project provides much more than just commercial timber

Timber Plantations

The project has 1430 hectares of commercial timber, distributed widely amongst more than 900 smallholdings.  The plantations overwhelmingly consist of native hardwoods with a small proportion in teak which is also naturally suited to the area. By working with 10 different native hardwood species, we ensure that trees are naturally suited to the soil type and conditions in different areas.


Each plantation is carefully monitored with details of trees species and farmer being logged in a proprietary database.  You can view an interactive map of the plantations on the web site.

View interactive map of plantations

Social Impacts

The Project has multiple social impacts, both short and long term.  The key benefit is the major economic benefit to farmers and their families, as well as the sequestration of carbon that helps to counter climate change.

There are many more benefits besides including conservation, biodiversity enhancement, flood control, collateral for microfinance and wider influence on policy.

Download social impact report


The project is managed by Sicirec Bolivia Limitada, which employs a team of 39 people to run the project and is the official owner of the other 50% of timber profits.  The project has also established 25 forestry committees to discuss and resolve any difficulties in each region.


The majority of the funding has been provided by the Cochabamba Project Limited which is a not-for-profit ‘community benefit society’ comprising almost 500 social investors.

Read more about the management


Operational costs for the ArBolivia Project are high given the dispersed nature of the plots and the social objectives of the project, and these have been largely funded through investment since timber income will not be sufficient to meet costs until 2021/22.  Around $7.5 million has been invested to date, with grants and service agreements totalling $1.1 million having also been secured.  A further $5 million is required to meet costs to breakeven although timber and other revenues are projected to reduce the net requirement to $1.6 million.


In addition we are seeking a further $2.8 million to almost double the area under commercial management and thereby increase timber revenues to $127 million over the full project term.

View financial summary

Anko Stilma, Chief Executive of Sicirec Bolivia