Ioulia Fenton

Bolivia Climate Change Monthly: August 2013

INESADWelcome to the August 2013 edition of Bolivia Climate Change Monthly where you will find the latest research, policy, donor activity, and news related to climate change in Bolivia*.

Academic Research Bolivia Climate Change

Soil carbon stocks vary predictably with altitude in tropical forests: Implications for soil carbon storage by Dieleman W. I. J., Venter M., Ramachandra A., Krockenberger A. K. & Bird M. I. published in Geoderma

Abstract: Tropical forests are intimately linked to atmospheric CO2 levels through their significant capacity for uptake and storage of carbon (C) in biomass and soils. Read More »

Infographic: How to Live Well in Bolivia

LivingWell-nologos-mediumVivir Bien – living well – is a concept that has been prominent in Bolivian politics over the last few years. It sets out the ideological position of living well in harmony with nature and rejects a mass consumption and fossil fuel based economy.

Although Vivir Bien has even been written into the Bolivian constitution with the 2012 Law of the Rights of Mother Earth the country is at a crossroads: what it says and what it does is at an odds. While Bolivia’s leaders propose a harmonious existence, majority of policies are aimed at expanding people’s ability to farm, which leads to the deforestation of around 300,000 hectares of rainforest every single year.

Today, the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD) came out with an infographic that proposes a two-policy solution that could help Bolivia reconcile its rhetoric with its actions by reducing deforestation while tackling poverty in an equitable way.  Read More »

Infographic: How to Live Well in Bolivia

LivingWell-nologos-mediumLéelo en español AQUÍ Spanish flag

Vivir Bien – living well – is a concept that has been prominent in Bolivian politics over the last few years. It sets out the ideological position of living well in harmony with nature and rejects a mass consumption and fossil fuel based economy.

Although Vivir Bien has even been written into the Bolivian constitution with the 2012 Law of the Rights of Mother Earth the country is at a crossroads: what it says and what it does is at an odds. While Bolivia’s leaders propose a harmonious existence, majority of policies are aimed at expanding people’s ability to farm, which leads to the deforestation of around 300,000 hectares of rainforest every single year.

Today, the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD) came out with an infographic that proposes a two-policy solution that could help Bolivia reconcile its rhetoric with its actions by reducing deforestation while tackling poverty in an equitable way.  Read More »

New simulation tool tackles deforestation and poverty in Bolivia

logo_SimPachamama_enPRESS RELEASE

For immediate release.

London/ La Paz, September 01, 2013 – A new simulation tool designed to help local Bolivian communities reduce deforestation and tackle poverty has been developed by academics and conservationists around the world.

A new simulation tool designed to help local Bolivian communities reduce deforestation and tackle poverty has been developed by academics and conservationists around the world.

The tool, called SimPachamama (‘Mother Earth simulation’ in local language), is based on extensive scientific research of a real-life Amazonian community and simulates the actions and behaviour of villagers near the agricultural frontier in Bolivia. To be played as a game to inform and educate with respect to land-use decision making, the player is the mayor of the village whose aim is to implement policies to improve the welfare of the locals and minimise adverse impacts on their forests.

It has been designed by an interdisciplinary team of academics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD), Conservation International Bolivia, and the University of Sussex.

The tool aims to help communities make informed decisions about their forest resources and stimulate debate on the kind of development they want for their community. It takes place over a period of 20 years during which the player can experiment with different policies and observe the consequences of his/her decisions.

SimPachamama has been developed as a didactic tool for use in workshops and training courses with communities, government employees and international representatives, and researchers hope it will help everyone come to the best compromise about the use of natural resources.

For example, results generated by the simulation suggests that a domestic tax of about US$450 per hectare of deforested land would be very helpful, especially if it could be structured in a way as to impact mainly large-scale agriculture.

“Bolivia’s agricultural sector is very profitable because land is 10 times cheaper here than in neighbouring countries and the fuel is heavily subsidised. US$450 per hectare would not significantly affect the earnings of the companies involved, but would make a big difference in terms of deforestation and welfare,” said Dr. Lykke Andersen of INESAD.

“In addition, SimPachamama illustrates very clearly the potential benefits, both for the environment and for human wellbeing, that could accrue from a system of international compensation through the Joint Mechanism for Mitigation and Adaptation of Bolivia, the Bolivian alternative to UN-REDD.

“Together, the domestic deforestation tax and the international compensation payments could both slow deforestation and generate one billion dollars every two years, money which could be spent on conservation payments, creation of green jobs, health, education and other anti-poverty programmes,” Dr. Andersen said.

SimPachamama is available as open source and can be downloaded for free from the project web-site: http://inesad.edu.bo/simpachamama. Apart from providing a quick guide to SimPachamama, and on-line courses in both Spanish and English at several levels, the site also acts as a forum for discussing the design of fair and effective mechanisms for reducing deforestation.

— Ends —

For more information, contact Dr. Charles Palmer from the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, on 020 7107 5093, c.palmer1@lse.ac.uk; Dr. Lykke Andersen from the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD) on landersen@inesad.edu.bo or (+591) 7 650 1114 or Candy Gibson, LSE Press Office, on 020 7849 4624, c.gibson@lse.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

SimPachamama is funded by the Ecosystems Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme. ESPA aims to deliver high-quality and cutting-edge research that will produce improved understanding of how ecosystems function, the services they provide, the full value of these services, and their potential role in achieving sustainable poverty alleviation. ESPA research provides the evidence and tools to enable decision makers and end users to manage ecosystems sustainably and in a way that contributes to poverty alleviation. See www.espa.ac.uk for more details.

Project Partners:

SimPachamama-project-Partners-e1377792055326

 

New simulation tool tackles deforestation and poverty in Bolivia

logo_SimPachamama_enPRESS RELEASE

For immediate release.

London/ La Paz, September 01, 2013 – A new simulation tool designed to help local Bolivian communities reduce deforestation and tackle poverty has been developed by academics and conservationists around the world.

The tool, called SimPachamama (‘Mother Earth simulation’ in local language), is based on extensive scientific research of a real-life Amazonian community and simulates the actions and behaviour of villagers near the agricultural frontier in Bolivia. To be played as a game to inform and educate with respect to land-use decision making, the player is the mayor of the village whose aim is to implement policies to improve the welfare of the locals and minimise adverse impacts on their forests. Read More »

A Face of Internal Displacement in Colombia

Paula FynbohBy Paula Fynboh

There’s a cemetery near Montgomery, Minnesota (USA) where my parents will be buried.  It’s the same cemetery where my grandparents were buried.  And it is the same place where my great-grandparents found their final resting place.  What does this have to do with displacement?  It offers me a physical connection to my roots, something many internally displaced people in many countries do not have.

I recently sat down with Maria Isabelle, one of the participants of the Bogota Wage Subsidy Project (BWSP), to hear her story.  The BWSP is a start-up organization working with women displaced by conflict in Colombia to build personal equity and transition from informal to formal employment. Read More »

Bolivia Climate Change Monthly: July, 2013

Welcome to the July 2013 edition of Bolivia Climate Change Monthly where you will find the latest research, policy, donor activity, and news related to climate change in Bolivia*.

Academic Research Bolivia Climate Change

A Measurement of the Carbon Sequestration Potential of Guadua Angustifolia in the Carrasco National Park, Bolivia by Ricardo A. Rojas Quiroga, Tracey Li, Gonzalo Lora, and Lykke E. Andersen published by the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD).

Abstract: The carbon sequestration potential of an unmanaged and previously unstudied Guadua angustifolia bamboo forest in the Carrasco National Park of Bolivia has been studied, by estimating the total aboveground biomass contained in the forest. It was found that the aboveground biomass consisting of stems, branches, and foliage, contains a total of 200 tons per hectare, leading to an estimated 100 tons of carbon being stored per hectare aboveground, which is comparable to some species of tree such as the Chinese Fir; this bamboo species therefore has the potential to play a significant role in the mitigation of climate change. The relation between the biomass, M, of each component (stems, branches, and foliage) and the diameter, d, of the plant was also studied, by fitting allometric equations of the form M = αdβ. It was found that all components fit this power law relation very well (R2 > 0.7), particularly the stems (R2 > 0.8) and branches (R2 > 0.9) for which the relation is found to be almost linear. Read More »

Bolivia Climate Change Monthly: June, 2013

Welcome to the June 2013 edition of Bolivia Climate Change Monthly where you will find the latest research, policy and news related to climate change in Bolivia*.

Academic Research Bolivia Climate Change

The vulnerable Amazon: The impact of climate change on the untapped potential of hydropower systems by R. Shaeffer, A. Szklo, A. Frossard Pereira De Lucena; R. Soria, and M. Chavez-Rodriguez, published in Power and Energy Magazine.

Framing climate change and indigenous peoples: Intermediaries of urgency, spirituality and de-nationalization, by A. Roosvall and M. Tegelberg published in International Communication Gazette.

An International Network on Climate Change Impacts on Small Farmers in the Tropical Andes – Global Conventions from a Local Perspective by Andre Lindner and Jürgen Pretzsch, published in Sustainable Agriculture Research.** Read More »

Changing Temperatures and Water Shortages: Why Bolivians need more than prayers on the Aymara New Year

Aymara new yearToday, the time of the Winter Solstice in the Southern hemisphere, marks the beginning of the new agricultural year for the Aymara indigenous people of the Andean region. In June 2010, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, an Aymara himself, decreed June 21 as an important national holiday: the Aymara New Year.

Although the celebrations center in the ancient ruins of Tiwanaku, with more than 50,000 participants in 2010, all over Bolivia, indigenous Aymarans gather on this typically coldest, longest night of the year to see in the sunrise. They brave the freezing temperatures in order to welcome the sun out of its winter season, characterized by short days and early darkness, and into longer days and more sunshine. Rituals back-dropped with traditional music abound and sacrifices of  llama, incense, alcohol, and coca are offered to Pachamama (mother nature/Mother Earth) until sunrise. All of this is in the hopes of enticing Tata Inti, the sun god, to heal the earth and give the farmers a good harvest. Read More »

Graphics: Bolivia tops Violence Against Women in Latin America chart.

PAHO Violence Against WomenIn a March 2013 report, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, presented comparative cross-country data on the state of violence against women in 12 nations across Latin America and the Caribbean. As the subsequent infographic by Hispanically Speaking News illustrates, Bolivia topped the chart by some margin.

When asked about their experiences over the past 12 months, one in five Bolivian women claimed to have been victims of physical abuse, with 53.3 percent of women reporting physical violence by a partner.

Intimate partner violence in Bolivia is 35 percent larger than the next highest abuse rate of 38.6 percent for both Colombia and Peru. At 17 percent, Dominican Republic appear to have the lowest, albeit still unacceptably high, level of partner violence against women. Read More »

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