Off the Market

Bolivian Forests and Struggles Over Climate Change

The Democracy Center’s report ‘Off the Market’ connects the dots between the global debate over forest protection and the complex realities on the ground.

As the Earth looks down the barrel of the growing climate crisis, the rate at which our large forests are disappearing is alarming. The ‘lungs of the planet’ are under threat and how to save them is the subject of fierce debate. On one side powerful voices argue that forest protection is best financed by adding forests to the trade in carbon between countries and corporations. Others argue that forest protection should not be used as a license for polluters to continue pouring climate-changing carbon into the Earth’s atmosphere.

‘Off the Market’ traces the issue from the details of the global debate to the complexities on the ground in Bolivia. It begins with a clear and accessible explanation of the issues on an international level, and then captures many differing voices working on the ground in Bolivia – community leaders in the Amazon basin, government officials, farmers, social movement leaders, and others. It moves from the halls of global institutions to the floor of the forests themselves.

Version en español se encuentra aqui


Conversation with the Author

Podcast: Off the Market


The author of ‘Off the Market’, Kylie Benton-Connell, gives some background to the report and discusses some of the many complex social, economic and political issues that it covers.

(Thanks to _ghost for the music used in this podcast)


Further commentary

This article by Kylie on Alternet looks at what the 2011 conflict over the TIPNIS highway in Bolivia tells us about the complexities on the ground that exist in the Global South while schemes for global markets in forest carbon are being discussed in international forums. Will Programs to Off-Set Carbon Emissions Fuel Further Conflict in Bolivia’s Forests?

Kylie’s blog post on BP and the Environment: The Bolivian Connection touches on some of the themes outlined in ‘Off the Market’, looking at BP’s forest carbon offset scheme in Bolivia in the light of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

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