Food and forests: Bolivia's balancing act

11 November 2014

BOGOR, Indonesia—In Bolivia, Mother Earth has the right to life, biodiversity, clean water and air, equilibrium, restoration and pollution-free living. That law, passed in 2012, gives humans the duty to protect those rights.

But the landlocked country in the heart of South America is also committed to expanding food production to meet the needs of its growing population, and to using its land and forests for economic growth.
As in many other tropical countries, those two goals are on a collision course, according to a study of deforestation and forest degradation in the Bolivian Amazon.

Much of Bolivia’s tropical forest, located in the country’s lowlands, has been threatened by soy farming and by the expansion of cattle ranching. Deforestation rates are stable though relatively high, at about 200,000 hectares a year, according to the study by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Read more from CIFOR