By Paul Homewood
I doubt whether you’ll see this on the BBC:
Up to 800,000 hectares of the unique Chiquitano forest were burned to the ground in Bolivia between August 18 and August 23. That’s more forest than is usually destroyed across the country in two years.
The Chiquitano dry forest in Bolivia was the largest healthy tropical dry forest in the world. It’s now unclear whether it will retain that status. The forest is home to Indigenous peoples as well as iconic wildlife such as jaguars, giant armadillos, and tapirs. Some species in the Chiquitano are found nowhere else on Earth.
Distressing photographs and videos from the area show many animals have burned to death in the recent fires.
While the media has focused on Brazil, Bolivians are asking the world to notice their unfolding tragedy – and to send help in combating the flames.
It’s thought that the fires were started deliberately to clear the land for farming, but quickly got out of control. The perpetrators aren’t known, but Bolivian President Evo Morales has justified people starting fires, saying: “If small families don’t set fires, what are they going to live on?”
The disaster comes just a month after Morales announced a new “supreme decree” aimed at increasing beef production for export
Of course, Evo Morales is a socialist, unlike Brazil’s Bolsonaro. But I am sure that had nothing to do with the BBC’s lack of interest in this story!