Protected Areas of Bolivia 101

Jorge Arteaga writes in El Diario:

“We should all travel to these earthly paradises”

Protected Areas of Bolivia




[Pics above belong to]

Two-thirds of Bolivia are found in the Amazon that, on average, is about 200 meters above sea level (masl). Then, the Bolivian territory rises westward to reach the high plateau, about 4,000 meters above sea level, and peaks over 6,000 meters. This makes the country to have 24 biogeographic units, 46 ecoregions, 14 ecological zones and 190 ecosystems.

This variety of living environments holds more than 1,392 species of birds, one of the 6 countries with the highest number of birds, 25 species are found only in Bolivia; 263 species of reptiles; 325 species of larger mammals over 30 kilograms; about 18,000 higher plants, over 200 species of timber; 186 species of amphibians; and countless insects, fungi, bacteria, etc., etc. There are more species of birds in the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park (620) than in the entire continent of North America. The Madidi National Park has 1,080 bird species, the same number of species throughout the South American Amazon.

However, unfortunately, it could be said that most of the country’s rivers are highly polluted, which is decimating life in general. In a similar situation are our forests. For example, the department of Santa Cruz is considered by the United Nations as the tenth place with most deforestation in the world. Indiscriminate hunting has practically wiped out all large mammals in almost every corner of the country. All wastewater from cities across the country returned to the environment without any treatment, there is not a single water cleaning plant; even rivers like Choqueyapu city of La Paz, nor any department cleans their water before they go directly to the Beni, Amazonas rivers and all the others. Finally, we refer to plastics, batteries, etc. It is URGENT to reform the practices of humans, [need better] legislation and the necessary controls.

As part of the solution and because of this true ecological devastation, Bolivia has protected 15.5% of all its territory in so-called protected areas. Fortunately, most of these 17 million hectares are still very little deteriorated by human action, preserving vast amounts of animals, plants, insects and all life. Protected areas are meeting the vital work of caring for the nature of human intervention. There are still serious deficiencies and needs of staff and modern equipment; However, awareness and public support is growing.

There is an urgent need to increase protection with larger budgets and staff from various levels of government. We must also promote eco-tourism, as indeed should all travel to these earthly paradises.

The author has a degree in Organizational Management and General Manager of the Editorial Riches SRL; is Co-Author of the Encyclopedia Bolivia Agricultural and of the 7 books Collection “Bolivia Agropecuaria” of prompt publication.

Current ruling ochlocracy are doing nothing to protect these parks. Instead they intend to build roads, like the one proposed cutting the TIPNIS, which will encourage coca crops which will turn into cocaine.

After five years of anarchy, due to current central government, many land/mining concessions were violently invaded by mobs who “support” this ochlocracy. They also want to exploit oil and gas inside these protected areas… in sum, this president who himself labelled as indigenous people protector and defender of mother nature… has done the opposite!

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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