Bolivia ecoregions 101

Can we divide Bolivia? Well for illustrative purposes and in order to understand our biodiversity… YES!

Bolivia is part of the 15 countries in the world regarded as being mega-diverse. We only lack a sea-coast, to have them all; which we had before Chile’s invasion. We were lucky today that La Razón newspaper displayed an interesting map, showing five ecological regions. Bolivia is roughly two times the size of France.

I will very briefly describe them:

Dark green is the Amazon, house of the Brazilian nuts, as that is the commercial name worldwide of that product that mostly comes out of this region, not Brazil. There was a time that this product was shipped to Europe by river, going down in between Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and finally Argentina where it continued to the Atlantic Ocean. Brazil in particular used most of the water of those rivers for their agriculture. To date, there is still the possibility to transport our iron ores using the Paraguay River, but we certainly lost the chance to reach Pando department, on the upper north border with Brazil, a shame, just a real shame and a poor example on how bad the world is using its natural resources.

Light green is the tropics, rainforest house of two of the most beautiful national parks: Noel Kempff Mercado in the border with Brazil and Madidi Park which also covers the Amazon, in the border with Peru. This land replaced the valleys in terms of food production. So, if you add both “greens” you have that Bolivia’s territory is mostly “amazon-tropics” and if you add the yellow. The lowlands beat the highlands by far. Why I say this? Simply because most of the world believes
that Bolivia is a highland country.

Light pink is the highlands, where most of Bolivians reside since colony times, due to mining production. There are two beautiful national parks, the Eduardo Avaroa in the lower part, border with Chile, where there are two famous lagoons, the green and the red which house flamingos who change habitats from here to Florida. The Sajama Park, which has the Sajama Mountain, the second tallest mountain in the Americas, only 14 meters below the Aconcagua (Chile). This ecoregion gave the world the quinoa (cereal) and a wide variety of potatoes. The highlands is called Altiplano, houses plants that bloom every hundred years, the Puya Raimundi.

Yellow area represents the Chaco region, which we share with Paraguay and Argentina. A very dry place where there are two meter long armadillos that are blind. The Chaco is the place where peanuts originally came from.

The blue-greenish represents the valleys, an intermediate region as you go down from the high to the low lands. Given its special “altitude” great wine and coffee are produced, guaranteed!!

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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