The disaster explained
Since July 2019 Bolivia has been experiencing fires of unprecedented magnitude. The fires are destroying large areas of primary forest, including protected areas and national parks in lowland Bolivia. The Chiquitanía, a dry forest ecosystem between Amazonia and Gran Chaco in the department of Santa Cruz, has been the centre of the crisis. The impacts on wildlife, biodiversity but also the livelihoods of local and indigenous communities are devastating. Bolivia is experiencing a real national disaster.
The fires have caught locals by surprise and the lack of capacity and preparedness on the ground means they have been rapidly overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster.
Huge areas of biodiversity and pristine forests have been lost. The lack of adequate response by the Bolivian Government has only exacerbated the fires. Local communities and residents are angry, and the region fears the outbreak of conflicts.
Follow the story…
What damage has been caused to forests, animals and human life? The disaster explained with stories from the ground and air.
Discover unique ecosystems, indigenous communities and animal species that are all under attack from man made fires.
How deregulated agricultural practices escalated into a national disaster. Who lit the fires and how they spread.
President Evo Morales refuses to declare a national disaster. Learn the big story behind industry, trade, politics and greed.