Bolivia’s Battle Over a Road and a Way of Life
Across the Amazon Basin and throughout much of South America, the continent’s economic powerhouse, Brazil, is the driving force behind a network of more than 500 economic development projects, including major highways and hydroelectric dams. One of those projects, embraced by the Bolivian government, would construct a highway through the heart of Bolivia’s Isiboro Sécure National Park and Indigenous territory, known as TIPNIS.
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In Bolivia, A Battle Over
A Highway and a Way of Life
Growing conflicts over development in South America have come to a head in Bolivia, where indigenous groups are resisting a highway project that would slice through a national park. How Bolivia resolves this showdown could point the way for other regions seeking to balance economic growth and the environment. READ MORE
Many TIPNIS residents are opposed to the highway, fearing it will open the way to uncontrolled logging, mining, and other activities that will despoil the forests and rivers on which their indigenous way of life depends. Environmentalists have criticized the project, with one scientist warning the highway would be “a mortal blow to the entire ecosystem.” But many Bolivians favor the road, saying it is an essential link in a modern, north-south highway sorely needed in this underdeveloped nation.
Videographer Noah Friedman-Rudovsky traveled to TIPNIS to report on this controversy. In this Yale Environment 360
video, he explores the stakes involved and examines whether resolution of this showdown could help other regions strike a balance between economic and environmental interests.
27 August 2012
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ABOUT THE VIDEO
This Yale Environment 360
video was produced by Noah Friedman-Rudovsky
, a freelance photojournalist and videographer based in Bolivia where he has spent the past eight years covering the nation’s social transformation. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times
, and his coverage from across Latin America has appeared in The New Yorker, Der Spiegel, Paris Match, Time Magazine, The New York Times Sunday Magazine
, among others.
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