During the first week of September 2014, the California-based film company GLP films came to Bolivia to make a video about the Joint Mitigation and Adaptation Mechanism for the Integral and Sustainable Management of Forests and Mother Earth, which is Bolivia’s alternative to the international REDD+ mechanism to reduce deforestation (see expedition web-site).
The video project is financed by the Think Tank Initiative managed by the International Development Research Centre in Canada, and the resulting video is expected be featured at a side event at the COP20 in Lima in December 2014.
Under the direction of Lykke Andersen from INESAD, and with the help of many other institutions and individuals, a 6-person film crew, armed to the teeth with gear, visited La Paz, Rurrenabaque, Bella Altura, Pando, Santa Cruz, Concepción, and El Torno.
In order to visualize what the Bolivian Joint Mechanism is and what the goals are, we interviewed top government officials, donors, NGOs, and local communities that have either already joined the Mechanism or are interested in joining.
We started out in Rurrenabaque, where our friends from Conservation International had put together a very interesting program centered on the eco-tourism potential of this spectacular region.
After that, the team split up to cover both the COMSERBO initiative in Pando and a major event on the formulation of Bolivia’s future Climate Change Policy, which took place in La Paz on the 4th and 5th of September in La Paz.
Wilson Rocha from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) organized our visit in Pando to showcase the COMSERBO program, which is the first initiative that was officially included in the Joint Mechanism. We apologize to Wilson for the hazzle caused by our flights from Rurrenabaque getting cancelled, thus requiring the whole program to be postponed for 24 hours with very little warning.
In La Paz we assisted the climate change policy conference and managed to get excellent interviews both with the Director of the Joint Mitigation and Adaptation Mechanism, Ricardo Rojas, and Bolivia’s chief climate change negotiator, Rene Orellana. In La Paz, we also interviewed the Danish Ambassador, Ole Thonke, as Denmark is the biggest supporter of the Joint Mechanism so far.
In Santa Cruz, we are particularly thankful to James Johnson, President of Fundacion Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN), and Jose Maria Tarima from the State Government of Santa Cruz for organizing a series of interviews with the most important actors in the Santa Cruz state, which is responsible for about 80% of the deforestation in the country.
One lucky crew member got to fly with Hermes Justiniano of the Foundation for the Conservation of the Chiquitano Forest to film deforestation in progress in the Santa Cruz deparment. Others got to visit the Association of Soybean Producers (ANAPO), whose President, Demetrio Perez, supports the Joint Mechanism, because they are also against illegal and disorderly deforestation in Bolivia.
CIPCA kindly hosted several interviews with key actors in the Chiquitania, and Fundacion Natura organized an all-day program to visit some of their ARA projects (Reciprocal Water Agreements) near El Torno.