Bolivia, located in central South America, is a country that was first formed in 1825 when
it broke away from Spanish rule ( ). Its history since then has been checkered, coming finally to
civilian rule in the 1980’s, but with consistent efforts at blowing away its drug trade and
corruption, the governments have a hard time regulating citizens and the population (Zulawski.)
Bolivia, which is located southwest of Brazil, has La Paz as its capital city.
Its total area
is 1,098,580 sq. kilometers, 14, 190 of those being water and 1,084,390 being land.
to areas in the United States, Bolivia is “slightly less than three times the size of Montana”
(World Factbook.) It has 6,743 km of land boundaries, including Argentina (832 km), Brazil
(3,400 km), Chile (861 km), Paraguay (750 km) and Peru (900 km).
Brazil is obviously the
largest bordering country at 3400 km.
It is a landlocked country, but it shares control of Lago
Titicaca that is the world’s highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805 m).
Control is shared with
Peru (World FactBook.)
The terrain can vary from very rough and rugged like in the Andes Mountains within the
country, but can become hilly and even have lowland plains that exist within the basin of the
Amazon River. The highest point in Bolivia is the Nevado Sajama at 6,542 meters, and its
lowest point is the Rio Paraguay at 90 meters (unlike New Orleans, no point in Bolivia is below
sea level.) The country lies at 17 00 S, 65 00 W (south of the equator.) (World Factbook.)
The natural resources in Bolivia are varied.
They include tin, natural gas, petroleum,
zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber and hydropower.
Not much of the land
Only 1.73 % can be used for farming.
0.21 % of the land contains permanent crops,
while 98.06 % of the land is set aside for other uses.
1,280 sq. km. of Bolivia is irrigated.
Flooding in the northeast of Bolivia can become a danger in the months of March and April, but
otherwise, there are few other natural hazards (Reed.)
Currently, many environmental issues affect Bolivia.
Some parts of the country have
suffered from deforestation because lands are cleared for agricultural purposes and for an
international demand for tropical timber.
Soil erosion also takes place because of overgrazing
and poor cultivation of land methods.
Desertification is also taking place along with loss of
biodiversity and “industrial pollution of water supplies used for drinking and irrigation” (World
Many international environmental agreements have gone into place to help the
environmental situation in Bolivia.
These include : Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands.