#Fires #Ecocide #ForestFires
In 2019 #Bolivia
lost over 6 million hectares to uncontrolled fires. Over 2 million animals and the lives of 6 firefighters were lost. In 2020, fires consumed over 2 million hectares already
We Bolivians demanded changes to prevent this. Thread
First: Why is this happening
Legislation in #Bolivia
passed by the Morales govt & expanded by Añez caused the fires crisis in 2019+2020 in order to expand agribusiness area. Read a fair summary of these laws on the @rights_nature
sentence about the 2019 fires here
Important to notice: Agribusiness is to #Bolivia
what Wall Street is to the US
Agribusiness sector holds much of our economy+enjoys a cozy relationship w/ government, regardless of governing party ideology. They did with Evo,they do w/Añez & many current presidential candidates
Hence, whoever is in power in #Bolivia
tries to keep agribusiness sector happy. Morales government did so in action despite their leftist speech. Jeanine Añez does the same today. You can read more about it here: https://news.mongabay.com/2015/06/bolivias-aggressive-agricultural-development-plans-threaten-forests/
Some laws enacted by the Morales government in #Bolivia
Law 337 (2013): Legal pardon for unlawful land clearances between 1996-2001
Law 502 (2014): Extends the previous legal pardon for 12+ months
Law 739 (2015): Extends the previous legal pardon for 18+ months
More laws enacted by the Morales government in #Bolivia
Law 1171: Regulatory standard for use of fires to clear land establishing legal fines below to 20 Bolivian pesos (less than 3 USD) per illegally burned hectare. This law was passed in 2019.
2019: In April the Morales government signed a protocol to export Bolivian beef to China. In words of the president of the IBCE, in almost half a year #Bolivia
would export the amount of beef usually exported in 10 years. https://dialogochino.net/en/agriculture/28326-will-exporting-beef-to-china-cause-deforestation-in-bolivia/
2019: Following the chinese beef export deal, in July 9 the Morales government enacted Supreme Decree 3973 that expands the amount of land clearance and hence, the use of fires for such goal in #Bolivia https://eldeber.com.bo/bolivia/morales-promulga-decreto-que-amplia-desmonte-en-santa-cruz-y-beni_143706
2019: Fires crisis in #Bolivia
begins in August. Fires expanded as the Morales government continued to deny both local & international aid.
I made this thread last years with details+dates on the 2019 crisis, please read for full context: https://twitter.com/JhanisseVDaza/status/1163816521107271680
2019: As the fires worsened, a national protest took place on October 4th with over 1 million people demanding the declaration of national disaster and repeal of supreme decree 3973, which never came. https://twitter.com/JhanisseVDaza/status/1180486296113954816
2019: In early October heavy rainfall in the Chiquitano forest extinguished the #fires
. Authorities recognized publicly that it was fires & not human efforts that ended the catastrophe, as you can read in this article. #Bolivia https://www.paginasiete.bo/sociedad/2019/10/7/tras-dos-meses-lluvias-apagan-los-incendios-en-la-chiquitania-233441.html
2019: Political unrest, elections and the protests following them take environmental issues out of the main agenda in #Bolivia
. The year ends with a new president but the same land clearing, incendiary laws in place.
2020: As the year and pandemic develop, environmental groups remind the government that repeal of Supreme Decree 3973 & further legislation change is necessary to prevent a new fires crisis in #Bolivia
The Añez government ignored such petitions. https://correodelsur.com/panorama/20200301_la-chiquitania-aun-esta-en-riesgo.html
2020: We @StandingRivers @RiosDePie
reminded the Añez government that its their duty to annul Supreme Decree 3973 on July 9th 2020, a year after its enactment.
Given the pandemic limitations we protested with fire projections on government buildings. https://twitter.com/StandingRivers/status/1281170324172738560
2020: Fires begin in July around Chiquitano forest region, civil society organizations continue reminding the Añez government to repeal the "incendiary packet" laws, which is the name we Bolivian activists give to laws that allow use of fires #Bolivia http://www.laprensa.com.bo/nacional/20200731/tras-nuevos-incendios-instituciones-y-colectivos-ratifican-demanda-de-abrogacion
2020 August 1st, 2nd: Fires also begin to take place in Cochabamba. As will be seen this year, fires aren't limited to the Chiquitano forest area (lowlands) but are taking place also in valleys & mountains of #Bolivia
2020 August 2: 12 organizations -firefighter units & volunteers groups including us @RiosDePie @StandingRivers
- publish this Manifesto stating urgent demands to battle fires given the COVID pandemic. Among them is the need for COVID tests for firefighters. No response from Añez.
2020 August: Fires enter the Bolivian pantanal from border w/ Brazil, over 10,000 hectares lost in Otuquis protected area. Añez government responds quickly but equipment is not enough. Volunteers continue to be the ones supporting firefighters. #Bolivia
2020 August: As I gave interview demanding annulment of DS 3973, its interrupted by Minister Pinckert joining live indicating it's not in the power of the executive government to do so, then leaves
I then rejoin & repeat she is lying & they CAN do it https://www.facebook.com/RiosDePie/posts/994061334397299
2020 August: Also important to notice that while the Añez government claimed it could not annul Supreme Decree 3973, they did enact other Supreme Decrees favouring transgenics use in #Bolivia
this year. https://es.mongabay.com/2020/05/bolivia-decreto-transgenicos-cinco-cultivos/
2020 August: More fires reported on Chiquitano region. These images are from Community Cruz Blanca in San Jose de Chiquitos.
2020 Sept: We @RiosDePie @StandingRivers
conduct a nonviolent protest/symbolic funeral outside a public act of president Añez,demanding them to annul Supreme Decree 3973 & give proper response to firefighter needs
Brother of deceased firefighter is w/ us https://twitter.com/StandingRivers/status/1290326529222868992
2020 Sept: Fires surround Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Cacique Reynaldo (indigenous authority) sends us this video of the affected area in San Jose de Campamento. #Bolivia
2020 Sept: Fires continue to surround Noel Kempff Mercado Park & civil society demands faster+better response from Añez government. This park is significative because in 2019 huge efforts were made to protect it from fires. #Bolivia
2020 sept: On the 14th Environmental Minister announces she will make a flight over the area to evaluate damage+course of action
Meanwhile us volunteers complain publicly for lack of quick response+need of firefighters transport & equipment #Bolivia https://twitter.com/StandingRivers/status/1306631178494115842
2020 Sept: Coverage by Deutsche Welle in Spanish of the forest fires in #Bolivia
featuring an interview I gave to emphasize the insufficient response of the Añez government + their denial to annul incendiary laws. https://amp.dw.com/es/se-quema-bolivia-otra-vez/a-54934719
2020 Sept: Finally after much public pressure Supreme Decree 3973 is annulled, but is later replaced w/a new decree that simply transfers responsibility to another govt institution
Añez govt response continues to be insufficient to fires crisis #Bolivia https://twitter.com/StandingRivers/status/1306309235324710913
2020 October: Fires continue+expand in Chiquitano region, Chaco region and Valleys of #Bolivia
Crisis worsens in Guarayos, where an animal sanctuary is affected.
2020 October: Valleys area of #Bolivia
is now too affected by fires, with a humanitarian crisis due to the fires worsening in Postrervalle. We civil society demand declaration of departmental disaster so govmnt can allocate more resources+respond faster. https://www.paginasiete.bo/sociedad/2020/10/1/incendio-en-postrervalle-piden-ayuda-para-bomberos-familias-damnificadas-270039.html
2020 October: Santa Cruz government declares a disaster state, reporting over 800,000 hectares lost to fires. Numbers from other institutions talk about over 2 million hectares lost by now #Bolivia https://www.la-razon.com/sociedad/2020/10/02/santa-cruz-declara-desastre-departamental-por-los-incendios-forestales/
2020 October: With over 30 sources of fire in Santa Cruz only, the Santa Cruz government recognizes its lack of firefighters and makes an open call for forest firefighters across the country to join.
Initial image here made on Sept 27th. #Bolivia
2020 October: Some of the national protected areas affected by the fires: ANMI San Matias, Iñao, Tucabaca, Kaa Iya, Aguaragüe, Ambue Ari y Copaibo.
Video below from fires in Copaibo reserve where UUBR firefighters are working, source @EdwinPynegar #Bolivia
2020 October: Fires also worsen on the south of Chuquisaca, in Macharetí, Muyupampa, Monteagudo.
Local governments declare disaster & wait for central government help. Here a report on locals kneeling to pray for rain in desperation in Macharetí. https://correodelsur.com/local/20201002_en-machareti-piden-de-rodillas-que-llueva-ante-la-magnitud-de-los-incendios-forestales.html?fbclid=IwAR03pzGI67tQ1AgbofsnlgnhKDREtXzX0_rOKj_IKNJLrfUjsIc3W6TXPCk
2020 October 7: We @RiosDePie @StandingRivers
, as well as many other environmental orgs, are demanding the Añez government to declare National Disaster to allow entrance of foreign aid, equipment + firefighters
Government response is slow & insufficient https://twitter.com/RiosDePie/status/1313868987487277057
2020 October 8: Finally central government declares National Disaster, recognizes "we can't face this alone", asks for international help. #Bolivia https://twitter.com/abi_bolivia/status/1314260105769242625
2020 October 9: Firefighters in Copaibo reserve denounce finding a man-made fire starting, located 2 kilometers from where they are working. On the video you can see car-tires stacked on top of each other as the fire begins. #Bolivia https://twitter.com/JhanisseVDaza/status/1314720635659210758
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