When Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, entered government in 2006, he promised to defend the natural world. He soon passed ‘The Law of Rights Of Mother Earth’, which promised to expand ecological protection on all fronts as well as supporting the rights of indigineous peoples. In the world’s eyes, Morales was a protector of Mother Earth.
Supporters of Evo Morales’s 2014 campaign trail
Despite these important promises and a political persona built on conservationism, his administration has approved many environmentally damaging activities. These include; large scale dam projects, major new roads that intersect indigineous territories and extensive oil and gas exploration within nationally protected areas.
Mining works in Bolivia desecrate tropical forests
Demand for agriculture
By far the biggest threat to Bolivia’s ecosystems is the rapid expansion of the agricultural sector. In 2019 the administration signed a trade deal to supply beef to China, a market of 1.4 billion people. Recently, Morales presented a livestock development plan to the industry which projected increased land use for livestock by an enormous 7 million hectares.
Tropical forests cleared to create arable land
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