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Indigenous peoples and environment – Report: UPR Third Cycle Bolivia 2019

Bolivia, during the previous two evaluation cycles, received few recommendations regarding the environment, rights of indigenous peoples,
the right to food and human rights defenders, usually affected by extractive activities and the construction of large infrastructures. Nowadays, in 28 million hectares in Bolivia, hydrocarbon prospection and exploitation operations are even enhanced. The amount of land open to explotation represents around 25% of the countr´s territory. There are mining claims and activities on 1,848 rivers and 39 bodies of water, if micro-basins are taken into account, these mining claims, once in operation, will impact the 64.5% of the high plateau and 50.6% of the Amazon.

The magnitude of these activities and the various, negative impacts they cause in the exercise of human rights does not answer the recommendations Bolivia has received in previous evaluation cycles. Of the 315 recommendations of both cycles, only 3 refer to prior  consultation with indigenous peoples, 4 to the environment, 3 regarding water and 1 around human rights defenders.

Unfortunately, these few recommendations have not been properly implemented. Fundamental rights, such as prior consultation and freedom of association, are regulated through supreme decrees, distorting the principle of legality. Similarly, in the context of extractive activities, the right to the environment and health, the right to food, the right to life of indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation, as well as the rights of people defenders are being systematically affected.

Read it in Spanish: Pueblos indígenas y medio ambiente – Informe EPU tercer ciclo Bolivia 2019