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  • Forest fires at Noel Kempff Mercado Park, Sept. 14, 2020.

    Forest fires at Noel Kempff Mercado Park, Sept. 14, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @StandingRivers

Published 14 September 2020
Opinion

In 2019, this South American country lost 6.4 million hectares of natural vegetation due to uncontrolled fires.

High-intensity forest fires continue to threaten nine Bolivian municipalities without the coup-born regime led by Jeanine Añez taking forceful action to contain them.

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On Monday morning, in the department of Santa Cruz, fires were approaching the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, which has been a World Heritage Site since 2000 and extends over 541,200 hectares.

"At the moment there are 19 active fires throughout the department. During the weekend, the most affected areas were Rositas de Postrervalle, San Marcos, Mosquera, Predio Galarza, and Quebrada del Palo," local outlet Periodico Bolivia reported.

In several regions, high temperatures and strong winds prevent firefighters from suffocating heat sources, Santa Cruz Environment Secretary Cinthia Asin acknowledged.

The meme reads, "Bolivia: La Paz city covered by smoke from forest fires. Neoliberal environmentalists, mainstream media, and the racist dictatorship remain completely silent. (Video from teleSUR)."

In 2019, Bolivia lost 6.4 million hectares of natural vegetation because of uncontrolled fires. Almost 31 percent of that loss occurred in natural forests and 69 percent in grasslands.

"The Friends of Nature Foundation mentioned that fires are a constant threat. However, fire is just a symptom of a bigger problem: an accelerated loss of forests over the last decade," local outlet Bolivia Verifica recalled.

"Faced with this, the government discourse constantly tries to detach itself from any responsibility and blame other factors... as the only ones responsible for the fires," it added.

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Cinthia Asin
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