Worsening Deforestation in Bolivia – Caused by Government-Backed Agricultural Exploitation of Forests

Bolivia rainforestBolivia has one of the largest forest coverage in the world, but persistent agricultural exploitation has advanced the state of the country’s deforestation. According to Global Forest Watch (GFW), unless the government develops sustainable and viable economic alternatives, deforestation in the country will continue to worsen.

Yet the government of Bolivia supports the expansion of agricultural production. An Oxfam report revealed that historically, between 1990 and 2005, farmers had cut down trees in 270,000 hectares of Bolivia’s forests.
Actually, based on a recent GFW study, last year’s government-backed deforestation activities had already increased the cleared portion of the virgin forest by 32 per cent. The size of which already accounts for 9% of all the lost primary forest around the world.

Forest Fires in Connection with Cattle Ranch Clearing

Forest fireIn addition to the agricultural exploitation, forest fires occurring yearly have contributed to the denudation of the virgin forests in the country.

A related GFW study shows that from 2001 to 2021, forest fires had caused 24% of the loss of tree cover in Bolivia. More often than not, the wild fires were connected to the clearing operations carried out to make large areas of the forest available for cattle grazing.

Such conditions further fueled concerns that it could put at risk efforts to save the Amazon.

Ongoing Conservation Efforts

Asociación Faunagua and Armonia joined forces with the Peruvian ECOAN and Global Forest Generation to form a conservationist group called the Acción Andina. Their goal in doing so is to protect and restore forests, specifically those in protected areas and under glaciers.