15. LIFE ON LAND

15. LIFE ON LAND

Bolivia is one of the few countries in the world that has a major portion of the world’s biodiversity concentrated within its boundaries, especially in its many different types of forests. Although Bolivia has extensive protected areas, its forest area as a proportion of its total land area has steadily decreased during the last decades, from 58% in 1990, to 55,5% in 2000, and finally to 50,1% in 20151. One of the reasons that forests are being burned down is that sustainable forestry activities have become unprofitable compared to agricultural activities, implying that Bolivia has changed from one of the world’s main exporters of certified wood to a net importer of wood2. Instead of taking advantage of the great potential for wood production, Bolivia is burning down the forest to make room for agriculture.

Apart from adversely affecting our rich biodiversity, widespread deforestation can also create serious local problems by exacerbating floods and droughts.

In addition, according to soil experts, around half of the Bolivian territory suffers from problems of soil erosion and desertification3.