Daily Archives: July 3, 2011

TIPNIS: government confusion vs. alternatives

Environmental damage that could be avoided inside TIPNIS is in the second section of the road: about 117km in between Isinuta and Cerro Grande.

Current Bolivian president said road will be built regardless of whomever likes it or not. While his vice-president was recorded saying that public consultations will be done with all affected communities, prior to construction.


Both unfortunate and misleading interventions, given that there are still pending environmental assessments, required by law. The allegations of fraudulent bidding and contract awarding, after two years of evaluation (Contraloria) are still unresolved.  The public consultations should have taken place before awarding any contract, the need of a “social license” is key to this activity.


There are alternatives, one suggests that road should be built around TIPNIS, additional funding could be found as a result of preserving the area (carbon offset).


As you can see in the map, Los Tiempos reports today about four alternatives for this portion of the road. Juan Eddy Terrazas (Cadeis) fortunately, came up with these four alternatives, the government should do better: get those environmental studies done, listen to the communities and seriously evaluate these alternatives.


If the government neglects seeking for an amicable solution, long before threats to blockade or march by indigenous groups occur, it will only reinforce common knowledge: honey moon between current political party in government with lowlands indigenous communities is breaking faster than it happened. Such is the case of two indigenous leaders that are now heading the Departmental Assemblies in Tarija and Santa Cruz. Justino Zambrana (guaraní) and Rodolfo Lópezy (chiquitano) respectively, have broken their original alliances with the government and are now in alliance with the opposition.