21 Bolivian organizations and also Amnesty International appeal to the President of Bolivia to withdraw a decree authorizing burning and deforestation that came into force in mid-July.
Since the publication of the decree, more than 5.3 million hectares of land have gone up in flames. Sign the petition.
With presidential decree 3973 of July 10, 2019, the Bolivian government allows the felling and burning of forests in the departments of Beni and Santa Cruz. As a justification for the decree, he uses population growth and the demand for food.
Global Forest Watch, an organization specialized in the valuation of satellite photos, has since recorded 313,000 fires in the South American country. At least a third of the burned areas were tropical dry forests and another 55% tropical savannas, according to the environmental organization FAN.
In Santa Cruz alone, nearly 1.2 million hectares of protected areas were burned, including large areas of the Otuquis National Park. Investigations estimate that millions have been victims of the fires.
Drought, strong winds and heat favor the spread of fires. Firefighters and the population fight the flames with inadequate tools or even without any type of equipment.
The real causes lie in the wrong agricultural policy. Just one day after its entry into force, the CIPCA research center criticized the presidential decree. It serves to legalize the deforestation of the agricultural industry and to satisfy China's demand for meat.
In fact, on August 28, 2019, President Evo Morales and the Ambassador of China celebrated in Santa Cruz the export of the first batch of beef to the Asian country as a historic event. Meat exports will increase to 117,000 tonnes in 2025, according to China's state news agency Xinhua.
To: Government of Bolivia, President Evo Morales
Dear Se. President Morales:
The environmental disaster caused by the devastating forest fires in Bolivia and its relationship with Presidential Decree 3973, of July 10, 2019, causes us great concern.
In this context, we support the declaration on “Solidarity and Defense of the Chiquitano Dry Forest”, by 21 Bolivian organizations and the open letter from Amnesty International “The Government must suspend the Presidential Decree and investigate the causes of the forest fires”.
We urge you to enforce environmental laws. Prohibit and prevent deforestation and burning of forests with all legal, political and technical possibilities.