Depredation of tropical forests [worsened during evo’s atrocious gov]

Editorial from El Deber, photos from the internet:

Depredation is devouring the tropical forests of Bolivia and the other countries that share the Amazon. According to a latest study presented by the Friends of Nature Foundation, the equivalent to the territory of Ecuador has already been lost; that is, 283,560 square kilometers, aggravating the environmental problems of the planet, in general, and of South America, in particular.

Specifically in Bolivia, the depredation covers 2.8 million hectares, which means 6% of the national territory. The causes of this loss have to do with the change of land use, that is, develop agriculture in forest areas, as well as growing coca illegally in areas that have no vocation for this type of activity.

The problems noted sound familiar at this time, when in the Chiquitania there is a constant protest for the delivery of fiscal lands, with forestry or livestock vocation, in favor of intercultural -colonos- that are dedicated to agriculture in small plots; Many of them come from the highlands, where there is no experience of cultivation in tropical soil, so that the developed practices cause irreversible damage to forest areas, many of them classified as protected areas.

In addition, the satellite studies of Unodc reported on illegal coca cultivation in non-traditional areas, as well as in natural parks, which should ignite the alarms in the INRA and in the ABT, although it seems that these institutions, dependent on the State, do not act coordinately. While the first delivery titles regardless of the vocation of the soil, the second ensures that they are recovering forests. To this is added the government decree that guarantees the exploration of hydrocarbons in protected areas, which will also entail an affectation in tropical forests.

In addition to this, the chaqueos that destroy large areas of forests every year. Burning is a practice that requires permits, but they get out of control frequently, which causes forest fires and even threatens entire communities.

The lack of coordination among State institutions shows little interest in preserving tropical forests, whose destruction entails damage on a larger scale and in the medium term, which puts at risk the quality of life of current and future generations.

What is expected from national and subnational governments is that they have a long-term perspective; that is, they do not sacrifice the future, thinking only of the immediate benefits that can be obtained, both in the allocation of land and in the exploration of hydrocarbons. In addition, there is an urgent need for better control of illegal coca crops.

Global warming is a reality that must be taken seriously by governments. It is not enough with just the defense speech of Mother Earth if it is not accompanied by coherent actions.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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