is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change for six basic
- It is
one of the poorest countries in Latin America
and suffers from one of the worst patterns of inequality. Low-income
groups in developing countries are the most exposed to climate change
- It is
the country in South America with the
highest percentage of indigenous people, where much of the poverty and
inequality is concentrated.
- It is
one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world, with a wide variety of
ecosystems that are vulnerable to different impacts from climate change.
than half of the country is Amazonian, with high levels of the
deforestation which adds to the vulnerability to flooding.
in a climatically volatile region, it is one of the countries in the world
most affected by natural’ disasters in recent years.
- It is
home to about twenty per cent of the world’s tropical glaciers, which are
retreating more quickly than predicted by many experts.
In July 2009 a team of Oxfam researchers travelled to three
areas of Bolivia (Trinidad in Beni, the Cochabamba valleys and Khapi under Mount
Illimani, in La Paz) to take a snapshot of how poor families are experiencing
the changing climate, and how they are adapting to it. The researchers
also interviewed key government and international officials, social movements
and NGO representatives. The main findings and recommendations of this report
women and men throughout Bolivia
are already experiencing the consequences of climate change, but in most
cases are ill-equipped to adapt to the present and future impacts.
perception of many villagers and local farmers is that the climate is
already changing in terms of the unpredictability of the rainfall, more
extreme weather events and higher temperatures, with negative impacts for
has noted that in recent years the frequency and magnitude
of damage from the extreme weather events have increased. Women are often
the hardest hit, as they are often the ones left to tend small farms and
families, and have fewer alternative livelihoods when crops are lost.
can expect five main impacts as a result of climate change: less food
security; glacial retreat affecting water availability; more frequent and
more intense natural’ disasters; an increase in mosquito-borne diseases;
and more forest fires.
these, Oxfam International is particularly concerned that poor women and
men and indigenous peoples will be affected by the effect of unpredictable
weather on agricultural production as this could lead to less food
availability and/or higher food prices.
A full set of recommendations is found in the Conclusions of