11 things you should know about Bolivia's forests

by BoliviaBella.com

Español As you read the following keep in mind that more than 20 percent of the world's oxygen is produced in the Amazon rainforest, more than half of the world's estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects live in tropical rainforests, one-fifth of the world's fresh water is in the Amazon basin, one hectare (2.47 acres) may contain over 750 types of trees and 1500 species of higher plants, at least 80% of the developed world's diet originated in the tropical rainforest, and the number of species of fish in the Amazon exceeds the number found in the Atlantic. Source.

11 things you should know about Bolivia's forests

The United Nations declared 2011 International Year of Forests. Therefore, we'd like to share with you 11 things you should know about Bolivia's forests.

1. Bolivia has 21 national natural protected areas covering a total of 16,834,380 hectares. Source. In addition there are many more state, municipal and private natural reserves.

2. The lowland forests of Santa Cruz, Beni, La Paz and Pando cover approximately 76% of Bolivia's forested area. 18% can be found in Chuquisaca and Tarija, and the remaining 5% are in the nearby valleys of Cochabamba. Source.

3. Bolivia is known as a country with great forest potential as 48% of its total surface is covered by 6 different types of forests. Source.

4. According to studies and inventories still to be completed in the country, to date about 14,000 native plant species with seeds (not including ferns, moss and algae), have been recorded. However, it is believed there are over 20,000 species. Source. An average of one new species is discovered every 3 days in the Amazon! Source. From 1999-2009 researchers discovered 637 new plants, 357 fish, 216 amphibians, 55 reptiles, 39 mammals, and 16 new birds.

5. Bolivia has 12 ecoregions (with several sub-ecoregions) and hundreds of ecosystems. Some of these ecosystems are of particular value and importance for conservation as they are centers of biological diversity and endemism or because of their condition or the degree to which they are under threat. Source.

6. Bolivia has 53 million hectares of forest cover, of which 16% is currently destined to sustainable use. Source.

7. Bolivia has about 40 million hectares of relatively intact forest with high indexes of biodiversity. Source.

8. Eight of the "Global 200" priority eco-regions identified by WWF as being of worldwide importance and in need of immediate conservation action, are located within Bolivia. Source.

9. The Southeast Amazon region is one of the largest and richest regions and extends into Bolivian territory. It is home to 239 unique landscapes that cover 24% of the country's territory. Source.

10. 17% of the country's surface is legally established as protected area, positioning Bolivia among the countries with the highest amount of land surface designated as protected areas. Source.

11. Bolivia also has the highest amount of surface area in the world, equivalent to 2 million hectares, designated as certified native tropical forest under the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) seal. In addition, about 6 million hectares of forest are sustainably managed under forest management plans. Source.

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