Ecosystems of Bolivia, a Gallery
by Bernardo Peredo Videa, Bolivia


Bolivia is one of the richest countries in the world, with high biodiversity in birds, neo-tropical mammals, a variety of ecosystems and rich cultural communities. However, Bolivia is also a developing country that faces enormous problems in its efforts to solve economical problems and poverty, many times resulting in irreparable damage to the ecology and natural resources. The complex issues of environmental protection, with appropriate policies and solutions, involving a balance between development and conservation, require effective policies and economical solutions for ecosystems conservation.

Today's threats to species and ecosystems are the greatest in recorded history. Virtually all of them are caused by human mismanagement of biological resources, often stimulated by misguided economic policies and faulty institutions that enable the exploiters to avoid paying the full costs of their exploitation. Conservation makes fundamental contributions to sustaining society. Nowadays both natural habitats and ecosystems and traditional cultures are at risk from logging, road building, mining, oil exploitation, and colonization schemes. With the region's burgeoning population growth, plans for further economic development loom on the horizon. When the problems are defined in terms of insufficiently protected areas, excess poaching, poor law enforcement, land encroachment, and illegal trade, possible responses includes improving standards of managing species and areas.

Efforts may be oriented toward the preservation of these resources, with adequate plans and sustainable activities, so as to allow people to use and benefit from them without increasing the risk of no longer having them. Biological resources need protection against inappropriate uses and overexploitation, not against people.

Visual activities and projects are an effective means to educate and create awareness of conservation issues, not only for the people of Bolivia and Latin America, for everyone who is a part of nature, and of our precious home, our world.

As part of different trips and projects throughout many regions in Bolivia during the past 4 years, this exhibit is dedicated to those who supported these trips and permanent absences in the field. My eternal gratitude to Ariadne M.L., my family, God and all people at Horizon, especially to Janine and Bela S. Your encouragement and motivation are part of the efforts to create a world in which people want to belong.

-- Bernardo Peredo Videa
HORIZON Solutions Site Intern

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