Bolivia Climate Change Monthly: November 2013

INESADWelcome to the November 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

Climate Change Induced Glacier Retreat and Risk Management: Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) in the Apolobamba Mountain Range, Bolivia, by Hoffmann, D., & Weggenmann, D., in Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management.

Abstract: Due to global warming, tropical glaciers in the Bolivian Andes have lost about half of their volume and surface area since 1975. Throughout the Apolobamba mountain range, the retreat of glaciers has resulted in the formation of small and medium-sized lakes on the glacier terminus. Many of the glacial lakes are contained only by loose moraine debris: thus they can pose a significant threat to human settlements and infrastructure downstream. Considering the fact that the Cordillera de Apolobamba holds the largest continuous glaciated area in Bolivia, which measured 220 km² in the 1980s, there is a legitimate concern regarding the dangers that might affect this mountain region. Yet there is no documentation available on glacial lakes in the Apolobamba mountain range; indeed there is little awareness of the related risks. Only recently has glacial retreat, and climate change impacts in general, been given some importance in the planning and management of the Apolobamba National Protected Area for Integrated Management, thereby opening a discussion on natural hazard threats and the development of adaptation strategies with the objective of minimising risks for human populations and local infrastructure. This paper presents documentation of glacier retreat and the forming of glacial lakes in the Cordillera of Apolobamba over the last 35 years. In addition, the risk potential of glacial lake outburst floods and the risk awareness of the local population will be analysed in relation to park management options, and ideas outlined for more detailed studies of glacial lake outburst floods in Bolivia.

Media Coverage Bolivia Climate Change Monthly

Bolivia, uno de los países con mayor deforestación (Bolivia, one of the countries with the highest rate of deforestation), La Razon, November 18.

Blogs Bolivia Climate Change Monthly

Adaptation, Adaptation, Adaptation; Migration, Climate Change and National Adaptation Plans in South America, by Elizabeth Warn, Migration – The big issue, November 13.

This article discusses the response of South American countries to climate change, and argues that migration should be thought of as an adaptation strategy. Migration is generally viewed as a failure to adapt, rather than being seen as a method of adaptation. However, the national strategies of some countries in the region do just this. One example is the Bolivian National Mechanism for Adaptation to Climate Change (MNACC) which mentions five specific adaptation measures, of which two refer to migration: one is to “plan the migration flows of rural populations to guarantee the generation of opportunities”, and the other is to “determine the causes of temporary and permanent migration to guarantee the sustainability and the process of new human settlements”.

Global deforestation: 10 hot spots on Google Earth – in pictures, by Adam Vaughan, The Guardian Environment Blog, November 15.

An analysis of 650,000 satellite images has revealed the extent of the loss and recovery of forestland over the world. Bolivia is one of the deforestation “hot spots”, with soya production and cattle ranching being two of the primary causes.

* This bulletin is intended for scientists, practitioners and others who are interested in climate change issues in Bolivia. Every care is taken to include all the relevant works published in the previous month, however, should you be aware of any research that has been accidentally overlooked, please email a link to

Bolivia’s Best: Carlos Mamani Condori, Researcher and Campaigner for Indigenous Rights


“For me, it is fundamental that we—indigenous communities—win the right to govern ourselves.”

Carlos Mamani is a Bolivian professor, researcher, and campaigner for the rights of indigenous communities. Being an Aymara Indian, he is of indigenous origin himself and has first-hand experience of indigenous culture and of the discrimination faced by his people. He became known during the 1990s for his work promoting the ayllu system of governance in Bolivia, an indigenous land-management method which existed in the pre-Inca era. For this, he was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship, a worldwide network of social entrepreneurs dedicated to changing the world. Since then, Carlos has continued to work tirelessly to discover and disseminate knowledge about indigenous cultures and is regarded as a world expert on the topic.

He spoke to Development Roast about his work and his lifetime passion for bringing recognition and equality to the indigenous populations of the world.

What is the ayllu system and why did you want to promote it?

It’s an organizational model belonging to the indigenous settlements in the region of the Andes and South America that was in existence before the time of the Incas. The system is designed according to the characteristics of our land: our environment is very challenging, especially the Altiplano [high planes] region which is 3,800 to 4,000 meters above sea level. We have to see how we can successfully face the challenges which go with this landscape. For example, there is only one harvest period per year and we have very few crops – only potatoes and quinoa – and only one type of animal – the llama. So it’s important that we have control over, and understand, the ecosystem. The organization is based on relationships between human beings, especially the lending of services, and mutual help. This idea has been fundamental for us [indigenous people] to survive the process of colonization since the 16th century.

In the 1990s, we had the idea of recovering the ayllu system. At the time, Bolivia, like the majority of the other countries in Latin America, had adopted the process of acculturation [forcing people to adopt a new culture] so that the indigenous settlements would forget their identities, their languages, and their customs, in favor of a single state organization and culture. When we started this work, we set goals of recovering and strengthening awareness of the indigenous identity, building the self-confidence of indigenous people, and preserving the land in a ‘natural’ state. We conducted a study about the state of indigenous communities, and we published several books on the topic. We also made some radio programs which were aired in Aymara and Quechua, and some in Spanish. As well as doing research, I also wanted to disseminate our findings at the international level.

What was it like growing up as an indigenous child?

Until I was 10 years old I didn’t speak Spanish (my native language is Aymara) but I learned at school. When an indigenous person first encounters the western culture and has to use the Spanish language, it’s very difficult because the languages have very distinct rules and concepts. Economically, our family didn’t have many problems because my family were comfortably-off and had a large farm, so my father could pay for my schooling. We indigenous people aren’t all that poor – our problem is not economic but that we are excluded, socially.

My family are Pacajes [one of the ethnic groups that make up the Aymara people], the people who formed the largest population in South America in ancient times. We, and the other Aymara people, originally had territory that spread from the Amazon to the Pacific coast. But, by the time I started school the Aymara territory had already been reduced to a single province of 10,000 square meters.

What have been the best and the most challenging moments of your career?

One of them must be obtaining a Masters degree in Andean History from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLASCO) in Ecuador. After that I started working as a professor at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, teaching history to anthropology students. Becoming an academic in a university was a very big achievement for me.

Then, between 2008 and 2010 I was a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. During the last year, whilst I was resident at the organization [the UN headquarters], I visited many indigenous communities all over the world, and had to interact with government officials and specialist state bodies. I still have a very active international life – I’m always attending conferences on global issues such as climate change, as well as those specializing in indigenous topics. For example, I’ll be going to Norway over the summer for a conference that is being held in preparation for the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples that will take place in New York in 2014.

For me, being a political activist is also very important, not only for the indigenous settlements in my own country, but for those all around the world. I find this very satisfying.

Is there anyone in particular who has inspired you?

I think of myself as very privileged because my father, who is no longer with us, taught me everything about my identity. But what motivates me most isn’t a person, but a personal desire that all indigenous communities in the world can continue to exist. These communities are a sector whose rights have been neglected by the world for some time. Enabling them to survive is my biggest motivation and all my attention and effort has been directed towards this.

What do you wish for in the future, for your career but also for the country?

I haven’t done any research for a few years and I’ve just started again. In September, we’re going to hold a symposium in Geneva on the historical memory of indigenous populations. This is a very important step for me, because I’m not young anymore and I have to think about summarizing the advances we’ve made as well as the difficulties that still exist.

In the long-term, what I want is for all indigenous communities to be entitled to their own responsibilities, for example so that they have the right to educate their own children. For me, it is fundamental that we indigenous communities win the right to govern ourselves, not just here in Bolivia, but also in Canada, Australia, the north of Europe – wherever there are indigenous people.

Do you know of any other people who have fought for the rights of indigenous communities? Please leave a reply below.

Tracey Li is a Senior Research and Communications Intern with INESAD.

For your reference:

More information about Carlos’ work can be found in the following:

Ashoka Fellows <>.

Mamani, C 1994, ‘History and prehistory in Bolivia: what about the Indians?’, in R. Layton (Ed.), Conflict in the Archaeology of Living Traditions, Routledge, London, UK (pp. 46-60). Available online from <>.

Mamani, C. 1997, ‘Memoria y Reconstitución’, in: Intelecutales indígenas piensan América Latina, Zapata, Claudia, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar.

Choque, M. E. & Mamani, C. 2001, ‘Reconstitución del ayllu y derechos de los pueblos indígenas: el movimiento indio en los Andes de Bolivia’, Journal of Latin American Anthropology, Vol. 6, Issue 1, pp. 202-224.

Carlos Mamani Condori, El Proceso de Reconstitución Política Territorial en la coyuntura de la Asamblea Constituyente, <>


Massive Open Online Courses: Can They Help to Educate the World?

Tracey LiThe World Wide Web recently celebrated its 20th birthday and, since its birth, the Internet has grown to become an indispensable tool for many people, penetrating into many aspects of everyday life, including education. The Flipped Classroom, for example, has revolutionized how classes and homework are organized and delivered. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people are taking advantage of Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs). These are online courses that are open to everyone from all over the world, which enable participants to learn in their own time and often free of charge. While access is easy for citizens of richer nations—and richer citizens of all nations—could this platform also help to spread high-quality education to the less advantaged in advanced and developing countries alike? Read More »

Bolivia Climate Change Monthly: October 2013

INESADWelcome to the October 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

Palaeoecology of brachiopod communities during the late Paleozoic ice age in Bolivia by Badyrka, K., Clapham, M. E., & López, S., published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

Abstract: Studies of modern ecological communities demonstrate that climate change may trigger changes in diversity and taxonomic composition; however, these studies are fundamentally limited to short timescales and therefore cannot demonstrate the full impact of major climate change. Understanding the ecological response of marine invertebrate communities to the Late Paleozoic Ice Age (LPIA), the last complete transition from icehouse to greenhouse, can establish a more complete picture of the climate–faunal relationship. We analyzed brachiopod community structure in Moscovian–Sakmarian (mid-Pennsylvanian to Early Permian) samples spanning the greatest extent of the LPIA, collected from four localities of the Copacabana Formation in Bolivia: Ancoraimes, Yaurichambi, Cuyavi, and Yampupata. Cluster analysis reveals three main groups that appear to coincide with pre-, syn-, and post-glacial times. Genus richness was significantly greater in samples during the Asselian glacial episode; however, the difference may be due to a combination of smaller body size and time averaged mixing of genera from different depths during more rapid glacioeustatic sea level change. Genera present in Bolivia consistently had warm-water affinities, even during the main glaciation, but warm-water taxa increased in abundance over time and the samples became increasingly dominated by characteristically North American genera. Overall mean body size and the size of particular genera were smaller in the Asselian cluster. These size changes likely reflect variations in substrate because marine invertebrates should be larger at cooler temperatures due to oxygen limitation at higher temperatures. The monotonic increase in abundance of warm-water genera and increasingly North American biogeographic affinity imply that community change was most likely the result of the northward drift of Bolivia rather than a response to late Paleozoic glacial–nonglacial cycles. This lack of climate related faunal change was probably a result of Bolivia’s mid-latitude location during the late Paleozoic because both the rate of temperature change and its magnitude were likely smaller at lower latitudes, reducing the impact of climate change on marine communities.

Climate trends and projections for the Andean Altiplano and strategies for adaptation by Valdivia, C., Thibeault, J., Gilles, J. L., García, M., & Seth, A., published in Advances in Geosciences.

Abstract: Climate variability and change impact production in rainfed agricultural systems of the Bolivian highlands. Maximum temperature trends are increasing for the Altiplano. Minimum temperature increases are significant in the northern region, and decreases are significant in the southern region. Producers’ perceptions of climate hazards are high in the central region, while concerns with changing climate and unemployment are high in the north. Similar high-risk perceptions involve pests and diseases in both regions. Altiplano climate projections for end-of-century highlights include increases in temperature, extreme event frequency, change in the timing of rainfall, and reduction of soil humidity. Successful adaptation to these changes will require the development of links between the knowledge systems of producers and scientists. Two-way participatory approaches to develop capacity and information that involve decision makers and scientists are appropriate approaches in this context of increased risk, uncertainty and vulnerability.

Characterization of recent glacier decline in the Cordillera Real by LANDSAT, ALOS, and ASTER data by Liu, T., Kinouchi, T., &  Ledezma, F., published in Remote Sensing of Environment.

Abstract: The changing sizes of glaciers in the Cordillera Real (16.2°S, 68.2°W), Bolivian Andes, between 1987 and 2010 were determined by a band ratio method using cloud-free LANDSAT TM and ALOS AVNIR-2 data. From 1987 to 2010, glacier-covered areas in the Cordillera Real were found to have diminished by more than 30%. The rate of glacierized area shrinkage within this Andean region, and particularly of its glaciers, has significantly increased in the past 5 years. To characterize the change in glacierized area, a changing factork was introduced to capture the effects of topographic factors, including elevation, slope angle, and aspect as identified using ASTER 30-m Global DEM data on the Huayna Potosi, Mururata, Charquini, Illimani, and Serkhe Khollu glaciers. This study also further analyzed the Huayna Potosi glacier and discussed the inhomogeneity of changes in its area with elevation, slope, aspect, and the distribution of solar radiation.

Bolivia Climate Change Poverty and Adaptation, published by Oxfam International in Bolivia.

This report is based on the findings of a group of Oxfam researchers in Bolivia who investigated how poor families are experiencing and adapting to climate change, as well as interviewing key government and international officials, social movements, and NGOs. The main findings of the report include the fact that poor families are ill-equipped to deal with the future consequences of climate change, that women are often the group who suffer the most negative impacts, and that Bolivia can expect reduced food security and water availability, more frequent and intense natural disasters, an increase in mosquito-borne diseases, and more forest fires.

Blogs Bolivia Climate Change Monthly

Rural Bolivian Seed DiversitySeed Freedom.

Maintaining a diversity of seeds and crops is a key tactic in managing the risks of climate change. Following a Democracy Center research trip to Norte Potosí, Bolivia, the short documentary Seeds of Resilience tells the first in a series of stories about Bolivian climate resilience strategies.

Seminario ¨Universidades hacen frente al cambio climático¨ en La PazCambio Climático Bolivia, October 14.

An overview of  the seminar ¨Universities confront climate change¨ that took place in La Paz, Bolivia, on September 12, 2013. Universities play a key role in fighting climate change as they contribute vital scientific knowledge, motivating this seminar. The talks covered a wide range of themes, including the impact of climate change on biodiversity, the social and institutional dimensions of climate change research, and greenhouse gas emissions and energy plans in Bolivia. Full details of the seminar can be found here.

¨Edición especial: Experta del mes¨ Municipios y adaptación al cambio climático, Cambio Climático Bolivia, October 15.

An article about the importance of municipal action, in additional to national and international action, when confronting climate change and its consequences. The article includes a series of concrete proposals for how municipal authorities can incorporate the necessary policies and argues that climate change mitigation in order to avoid an increase in poverty, food insecurity, and forced migration, amongst other disastrous effects.

* This bulletin is intended for scientists, practitioners and others who are interested in climate change issues in Bolivia. Every care is taken to include all the relevant works published in the previous month, however, should you be aware of any research that has been accidentally overlooked, please email a link to

Bolivia Climate Change Monthly: September 2013

INESADWelcome to the September 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

Climate change impact on countrywide water balance in Bolivia by Escurra, J. J., Vazquez. V., Cestti, R., De Nys, E. & Srinivasan, R. published in Regional Environmental Change

Abstract: There is increasing concern about the ongoing reduction in water supplies in the tropical Andes due to climate change effects such as glacier/snow melting resulting from rising air temperatures. In addition, extreme events and population growth are already directly affecting life and water renewability in the country. A countrywide integrated national plan for improving basin-scale water management in Bolivia is needed to assure water availability for agriculture, industry, mining, and human consumption. This study aims to provide a modeling tool to assess Bolivia’s past, current, and future water availability and identify basins at risk of water deficits. The Soil Water Assessment Tool was used to simulate the monthly water balance from 1997 to 2008, as well as the water balance projected to 2050 for the entire country. It considers possible changes in air temperatures and precipitation proposed by 17 Global Circulation Models as well as carbon dioxide projections derived from the Special Report Emission Scenario. Overall, model results were close to satisfactory compared to observations, with some exceptions due to lack of information for expanding the timeline and improving calibration. Based on the calculation of three hydrologic indicators, the study identifies basins that would be the most susceptible to water deficits for a baseline from 1997 to 2008, and in the event of the projected climate change, to 2050.

Assessing global biome exposure to climate change through the Holocene–Anthropocene transition by Benito-Garzón, M., Leadley, P. W. & Fernández-Manjarrés, J. F. published in Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Abstract: Aim: To analyse global patterns of climate during the mid-Holocene and conduct comparisons with pre-industrial and projected future climates. In particular, to assess the exposure of terrestrial biomes and ecoregions to climate-related risks during the Holocene–Anthropocene transition starting at the pre-industrial period.

Location: Terrestrial ecosystems of the Earth.

Methods: We calculated long-term climate differences (anomalies) between the mid-Holocene (6 ka cal bp, mH), pre-industrial conditions and projections for 2100 (middle-strength A1B scenario) using six global circulation models available for all periods. Climate differences were synthesized with multivariate statistics and average principal component loadings of temperature and precipitation differences (an estimate of climate-related risks) were calculated on 14 biomes and 766 ecoregions.

Results: Our results suggest that most of the Earth’s biomes will probably undergo changes beyond the mH recorded levels of community turnover and range shifts because the magnitude of climate anomalies expected in the future are greater than observed during the mH. A few biomes, like the remnants of North American and Euro-Asian prairies, may experience only slightly greater degrees of climate change in the future as compared with the mH. In addition to recent studies that have identified equatorial regions as the most sensitive to future climate change, we find that boreal forest, tundra and vegetation of the Equatorial Andes could be at greatest risk, since these regions will be exposed to future climates that are well outside natural climate variation during the Holocene.

Conclusions: The Holocene–Anthropocene climate transition, even for a middle-strength future climate change scenario, appears to be of greater magnitude and different from that between the mH and the pre-industrial period. As a consequence, community- and biome-level changes due to of expected climate change may be different in the future from those observed during the mH.

Media Coverage Bolivia Climate Change Monthly

Andean water ‘sponges’ being squeezed by changing climate, BBC News, September 4.

Blogs Bolivia Climate Change Monthly

$450/ha tax on deforestation could help curb forest loss in Bolivia, suggests new, September 1.

Press release about INESAD’s SimPachamama game.

Cambio climático y el boom de la quinua en Bolivia, Cambio Climático Bolivia, September 9.

An article which explores the benefits and disadvantages of the rising international popularity of quinoa. In the context of climate change, quinoa may play a key role in future food security, due to its high resistance to extreme climatic conditions. However, intensive farming of quinoa in parts of Bolivia is having a detrimental effect on the environment and actually making the surrounding regions more susceptible to the effects of climate change.

Gold mining leaves deforestation and mercuryBlue Channel 24, September 24.

Félix Carrillo, Coordinator of the Environment, Mining and Industry Foundation, explained to the press how the worst environmental impact of mining is not the use of mercury, as previously thought, but deforestation due to gold mining in the Amazon. Miners now have access to heavy machinery to aid them with their searches which destroys large areas of jungle.

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* This bulletin is intended for scientists, practitioners and others who are interested in climate change issues in Bolivia. Every care is taken to include all the relevant works published in the previous month, however, should you be aware of any research that has been accidentally overlooked, please email a link to

When Academia Meets Humor (and now in Spanish!). Meet Yoram Bauman, The Stand-Up Economist

yoramYoram Bauman is what happens when economics meets comedy. Development Roast caught up with the friendly, engaging, and enthusiastic Stand-Up Economist himself to find out more about the latest out-of-the-box projects from the man who makes economics fun.

Blending the academic expertise of an environmental economist at the University of Washington (UW) with the sense of humor and charisma of a stand-up comedian, Bauman creates entertaining and informative comedy shows, with an economics theme, that he takes to audiences around the world. He is one of the authors of The Cartoon Introduction to Economics books, available in two volumes, which were reviewed by Development Roast last year. Volume One, released in 2010, covered microeconomics, and following its success the authors wrote and released Volume Two: Macroeconomics, in 2012. Due to their popularity, these books have now been published in several languages including Italian and Japanese, and will shortly be available in Spanish (see below for a sneak preview). Read More »

Five Indigenous Andean Crops You’ve Never Heard Of

Tracey Li

Today, INESAD’s Ioulia Fenton gave a radio interview to Real Food Empire. The program discussed climate change, sustainability, and all things food and agriculture at INESAD, in Bolivia, and beyond. To coincide with the radio interview, today Development Roast brings its readers and Real Food Empire listeners five fascinating indigenous crops and their incredible properties.

On June 27, 2013 Giulia Maria Baldinelli wrote about the effects of rural-urban migration on agriculture in the Bolivian Altiplano, revealing that the high plateau area is a surprisingly large source of biodiversity. The prominent Russian botanist Nikolai Ivaich Vavilov identified the region as being one of the world’s original centers of domesticated plants; the fact that the Altiplano people were one of the first in the world to cultivate edible plants is the reason why they today have such a huge number of crops. In spite of the incredibly harsh environment—altitudes of over 4,000 meters, poor soils, drought, and freezing temperatures for several months of the year—this beautiful region is home to an enormous variety of tubers and grains. The most well known is the potato, but even this holds some surprises – whilst Western consumers may consume a handful of different varieties, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) over 400 varieties are grown in the Altiplano, and, according to the International Potato Center (CIP), more than 4,300 across the Andean region. Read More »

Beer, carbon capture, and three other fascinating uses for Bamboo

Tracey LiBamboo is a type of grass with over 1,000 species that vary enormously in their size and preferred growing conditions. Thus, bamboo is found in several diverse locations around the world: native species exist in countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia. In many of these places, using bamboo for a wide variety of purposes is part of the culture. For example, in China, large bamboo stems are used as scaffolding, bamboo shoots are preserved or cooked in various ways and then eaten, and small stems are used to make flute-like musical instruments. And bamboo has many more fascinating uses besides these: Read More »

Critically evaluating climate change research: An important new skill for policy makers across the Andean region.

Climate change is having an enormous impact in the Andean region, one of the most conspicuous results being glacial melt. Ministers of the affected countries need to draw up policies in order to deal with the environmental, social, and economic consequences, which means that they first need to fully understand exactly what the consequences will be. There are many groups who have investigated the impacts of climate change and produced numerous studies on the subject, but evaluating these studies is not always straightforward. A recent training course—requested by the Comunidad Andina de Naciones (Community of Andean Nations – CAN), financed by the World Bank, and delivered by a team of experts from Bolivia—is helping policy makers make sense of the evidence.

Drs. Lykke Andersen, Luís Carlos Jemio, Oscar Molino, and Gonzalo Lora from the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD) and the Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB) travelled all around the South American region in January of this year. The aim was to teach a ten-step guide of Climate Change Impact Evaluation to government officials in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. The process drawn up by the experts starts from a chosen topic and scale of analysis. This ranges from single, local effects of climate change, such as reductions of Fiji’s tuna stocks (Aaheim, 2000), to generalized, global-level impacts (Stern, 2007). The ten steps take officials through understanding these studies to formulating recommendations for public policies. Dr. Lykke Andersen, who directs INESAD’s Center for Environmental Economic Modeling and Analysis, spoke to Development Roast about the course. Read More »

What Can Bamboo Do About CO2?

Efforts to thoroughly study the role that plants play in climate change mitigation are increasing. Most researchers focus on the promise of large, leafy forest trees to help remove carbon from the atmosphere; for example Lal (1998) in India, Chen (1999) in Canada, Zhang (2003) in China, and Monson ( 2002) in the United States. This is because, generally speaking, the bigger the plant, the more CO2 it absorbs – click here to see how plants do this – and trees are the most obvious large plant species. However, there are some very large non-tree plants in the world and increasing evidence points to a surprising grassy climate change warrior: bamboo.

One species of bamboo, the guadua angustifolia, found in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colombia, has been shown to grow up to 25 meters in height and 22 centimeters in diameter, with each plant weighing up to 100 kilograms (Rojas de Sánchez, 2004). This doesn’t match the stature of many trees, but it is still big enough to be significant. It is not all about size, however. How fast a plant grows has a part in determining how much CO2 it can absorb in a given time. In this respect, bamboo wins hands-down: it grows faster than many trees, growing up to 1.2 meters per day. In fact, bamboo holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s fastest growing plant. Read More »


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