Agribusiness entrepreneur Branko Marinkovic took over as Minister of Development Planning, replacing Carlos Diaz Villavicencio, who resigned Tuesday for health reasons.
The Recovery Plan for Areas Affected by Fires, presented yesterday in Santa Cruz, aims to restore sustainable livelihoods to more than 3.4 million hectares that were affected by forest fires in 2019. Most of the affected territory belongs to the Chiquitanía. It contemplates at least 20 strategies and 82 projects distributed in the attention of 26 affected municipalities, 18 municipalities attended with humanitarian aid and 4,472 families.
The Forest Monitoring and Information System (SIMB) recorded 2,676 more heatwaves from January to August 4 than in a similar period last year. Sixty-five thousand three hundred eighty-six hot spots reported, while in 2019 the number of hot spots reached 62,710, an increase of 4.27%. Fires in protected areas increased by 27%, while in forest reserves heat sources rose by 17.2%. Activists and volunteer firefighters called for the repeal of Law 741 and Supreme Decree 3973, which authorize clearing for agricultural activity in the departments of Santa Cruz and Beni.
The government carried out five operations in Cochabamba, destroying three factories, a mega-laboratory, arresting four people and seizing cocaine valued at more than $1 million.
Recovering ecosystems affected by fires, caring for the livelihoods and productive approach of local populations, promoting culture and tourism, risk prevention and management and governance are the five axes that the Government of Santa Cruz has included in the Plan for the Recovery of Areas Affected by Fires in the Department. The central government plans to invest a fund of Bs 1.2 billion, which will mainly benefit 83 development projects linked to the above axes.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Organization of American States (OAS) and Google signed an agreement to launch a free digital training plan, aimed at micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), on the tools and new trends in foreign trade and so that they can have a sales platform.
Between yesterday and today, six hot spots recorded in different parts of Tunari Park. Yesterday, more than a thousand hectares consumed in the protected area. Today, the fires occurred in the municipality of Tiquipaya and are uncontrolled. Fires are recurrent at this time of year because many people burn to prepare the land and plant crops, but they do not control the blaze, and the wind exceeds all human possibilities.
The government announced the application of an “iron fist” against the perpetrators of the forest fire to prevent the country from continuing to lose more forest areas. The blaze already controlled in the National Park and Natural Area of Integrated Management Otuquis, caused the loss of about 40,000 hectares, while in San Matías it is estimated about 20,000 hectares, this due to the difficulties to enter the affected area. The government is taking steps with international cooperation agencies to access external funds, promote economic development and raise awareness of the need to conserve the forest.
According to the latest report presented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), total coca leaf production increased from 41,600 tons in 2018 to 46,100 tons in 2019, an increase of 11%. In 2018, some 17,422 tons of coca leaf did not pass through any of the authorized markets. In 2019, the amount that did not pass through these legal trading points rose to 22,223 tons, representing an increase of 27%.
Waldo Ramos Jurado, the financial auditor and former executive of the hotel sector in La Paz, is the new executive president of the National Customs Service (AN). He replaces Jorge Hugo Lozada, who resigned a few days ago.