After Brazil, the South American country that lost the greatest area of primary forest over the past twenty years is Bolivia. The land-locked nation has seen its diverse forests rapidly shrink despite a much-publicized law to protect the rights of Mother Earth and commitments to protect the interests of Indigenous communities. Bolivia’s forests have been disappearing largely due to a combination of industrial agriculture, including soy and cattle farms, and increasingly severe incidence of fires. Chiquitano forest recently deforested on the edge of the Bolivian Amazon for soy production. Photo by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay. In response to this trend, in 2017 a group of citizens led by Gina Méndez, a former member of Bolivia’s national congress and the former mayor of Santa Cruz, Bolivia’s largest city, established El Llamado del Bosque, an organization that advocates on behalf of Bolivia’s forests, wildlife, and forest-dependent communities. El Llamado del Bosque set forth its call to action in the campaign called the “El Pacto del Bosque” (“Forest Pact”), which was signed by 100 Bolivian leaders from a wide swathe of society. “The idea that nature could vanish in the blink of an eye is what inspired me to get involved in the search for more immediate solutions,” Méndez, who also previously served as Bolivia’s Minister of Justice and Human Rights, told Mongabay. “I decided the problem required a common effort, which led to the idea of founding a citizen’s platform to contribute to the conservation of Bolivia’s forests.” Environmental activists protesting…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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