Enviro: 25th November 2019

In this edition of Enviro:

The team conducted an Interview with our studio guest Robert Navan about the recent Bolivia coup we also referred to aspects of the history of South America as relevant background to help to explain what is happening at present.

In part two of Enviro the team were joined by phone to William Maher who has family connections with Bolivia.   Maria his wife is a native of Bolivia. We asked William to explain how he saw what is happening at present and we had a discussion on the various aspects of the coup. It was agreed that the coup organised by the Bolivian army and police had been well planned and resulted in the elected President Evo Morales fleeing the country to Mexico. The cause of the coup was a scramble for the rights to mine Bolivia’s huge lithium resources. It resulted in Germany securing access to the vast lithium deposits   when on Wednesday 20 November 2019 they sealed a partnership for the industrial mining of the lithium. Lithium is a key raw material for battery cell production in the dawning age of electric cars. Interest in battery metals such as cobalt, nickel and lithium is soaring as the auto industry scrambles to build more electric cars and cut noxious fumes from vehicles powered by fossil fuels in light of stricter emission rules. As a result Germany will become a leading location for battery cell production.

On our Enviro program in the past we have explained the unique environmental legislation that Evo Morales processed through the various stages in Bolivia making Bolivia unique in its commitment to ‘Mother Earth.  Bolivia passed the Law for the Defence of Mother Earth in December 2010, The law was presented in the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in April in Cochabamba, Bolivia and went on to become the Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth, which was taken to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meetings in 2011.

The World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba took place in the wake of the summit in Copenhagen, where Bolivian President Evo Morales proposed a meeting in his own country of Bolivia, seeking to give a voice to the people and countries he felt were not represented in Copenhagen.

The law giving rights to the Earth was ground-breaking; it was an example given to the rest of world that climate change could be taught and approached in a very different way.

It also paved the way for continuing legislation. The Framework Law on Mother Earth and Integral Development to Live Well was passed on October 15, 2012. The law draws from the country’s and Morales’ dedication to environmental preservation, balancing human life and sustainable living, and putting an emphasis on Indigenous voices.

Presenter: John Haughton 

Panellist Joe Dunne