Tue, Mar 19, 2013 - Page 9 News List

Bolivian President Evo Morales must practice what he preaches

The contrast between Bolivia’s stance at the UN on environmental protection and what it is planning in the Bolivian Amazon rain forest is remarkable

By Roberto Laserna

With the problem unresolved and its alliances with indigenous groups, environmentalists and human-rights activists in tatters, Morales’ government went to the Doha conference.

The stance that it adopted there seems to have less to do with fighting climate change more effectively than it does with strengthening its bargaining position on its own demands.

However, those demands — such as the right to develop, and compensation for damage and losses caused by climate disasters — jeopardize even the limited progress achieved in recent years.

Political speeches and the agreements that result from them can be important, but they would be more effective if they were backed by credible action. Unfortunately, credible action is not the Morales government’s strong suit.

Roberto Laserna is an economist at CERES, a private research center in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and president of Fundacion Milenio, a think tank in La Paz.

Copyright: Project Syndicate

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