Forest plantations that protect water sources in regions affected by climate change

Green cities
On World Environment Day, we share two video documentaries about the reforestation projects carried out in Cochabamba and Oruro in 2021. Both initiatives of the Inclusive Markets project were supported by the Swedish Embassy in Bolivia (Sida).

Bolivia is the second most vulnerable country in South America to climate change and the fifth least prepared to mitigate damages resulting from climate change (ND-Gain Country Index Project, 2017).

A study commissioned by ECLAC, FAO and ALADI (2016) indicates that by 2080 changes in temperature and precipitation will cause on average 20% reduction in rural incomes in Bolivia and a loss of productivity of up to 43%.

According to Johannes Friedrich of the World Resources Institute's Climate Data Explorer, deforestation (64%) and Agriculture (17%) are the main cause of CO2 emissions in Bolivia. The deforestation of forests, the expansion of the agricultural frontier and the construction of roads in parks affect the water regime and deepen the fragility of ecosystems in several regions of the country.

Against this background, establishing forests as part of afforestation or reforestation programmes has been recognised as a tangible strategy to cope with global warming and climate change.

The main bottleneck identified in reforestation campaigns in Bolivia is the lack of monitoring systems to guarantee the establishment of seedlings and subsequent care in times of drought. Both issues are addressed in this proposal, applying irrigation techniques and hydrogel substrates, as well as the identification of local actors and technical follow-up by the college of forestry engineers.

Forests, whether natural or planted, are purifying environments and regulators of energy cycles and water (Chazdon et al., 2016; Zanneti et al., 2017). The benefits they offer are diverse, positively impacting human communities in social, environmental and economic aspects.