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Communities Forests

Social, Environmental and Economic Dimensions of Forest Policy Reform in Bolivia

By Arnoldo Contreras-Hermosilla, Maria Teresa Vargas Rios - Forest Trends, CIFOR
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Bolivian forests cover some 53 million hectares – or almost half of the total area of the country – mainly in the departments of Santa Cruz, Beni, La Paz, Pando and Cochabamba. During the last decade or so, there was a growing concern that the nation’s forests were increasingly under threat and that there was a need to utilize them more efficiently in order to promote economic and social conditions that were compatible with environmental quality. There was growing awareness that mistaken government policies, the use of forest resources for political patronage as well as illegal exploitation were playing a role in the degradation of the forest resource wealth of the country.