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Bolivia en un Mundo 4 Grados Más Caliente: Escenarios Sociopolíticos Ante el


Cambio Climático para los Años 2030 y 2060 en el Altiplano Norte [Bolivia in a
World Four Degrees Warme...

Article  in  Mountain Research and Development · November 2014


DOI: 10.1659/mrd.mm147

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Bolivia en un Mundo 4 Grados Más Caliente: Escenarios Sociopolíticos Ante el Cambio
Climático para los Años 2030 y 2060 en el Altiplano Norte [Bolivia in a World Four Degrees
Warmer: Sociopolitical Scenarios Under Climate Change for the Northern Altiplano in the Years
2030 and 2060]
Author(s): Fausto O. Sarmiento
Source: Mountain Research and Development, 34(4):418-419. 2014.
Published By: International Mountain Society
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1659/mrd.mm147
URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1659/mrd.mm147

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Mountain Research and Development (MRD) MountainMedia
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published by the International Mountain Society (IMS)
www.mrd-journal.org

ing for the report was provided by a gy—including explanations of climate


Bolivia en un Mundo 4 variety of institutions from Germany modeling, geographic information
Grados Más Caliente: and the United Kingdom, in a col- systems, geoecology, and traditional
laborative approach that reflects social science research—they present
Escenarios Sociopolı́ticos close cooperation between German scenarios for the short term (2030, ie a
Ante el Cambio Climático and British efforts on the topic of generation from now), and for the
para los Años 2030 y 2060 climate change, as noted in the long term (2060, ie more than two
en el Altiplano Norte preface by the German ambassador generations from now). They argue
to Bolivia, Dr. Philipp Schauer. This that the environmental change envis-
[Bolivia in a World Four Degrees cooperation is also highlighted in the aged for the short term is related to
Warmer: Sociopolitical introductory section, in which Hoff- incremental impacts that mainly
Scenarios Under Climate mann, a mountain ecologist working affect quantity, whereas the change
Change for the Northern as director of the Bolivian Mountain envisaged for the long term is linked
Institute and editor of Klimablog, and to qualitative breaks as a result of
Altiplano in the Years 2030 Requena, an environmental commu- reaching the tipping points of the
and 2060] nicator for public policy and admin- Altiplano ecosystem.
istration working as lead consultant These 2 scenarios are presented
By Dirk Hoffmann and Cecilia
for decentralization and sustainable for 3 different pathways: the optimistic
Requena. La Paz, Bolivia: Instituto
development, tailored a specific (implementing everything in the right
Boliviano de la Montaña and Fundación
patch for Bolivia within the larger place and time with contextual sup-
PIEB, 2012. 168 pp. Free download
tapestry of climate change research port); the inertial (maintaining social
at www.cambioclimatico-bolivia.org;
and applications for the larger in- attitudes and public policies); and the
hardcopy available at cost of postage
terconnected planet. Despite being pessimistic (lacking implementation and
from info@bolivian-mountains.org.
gray literature, the book includes no contextual support). By defining
ISBN 978-99954-57-57-0.
more than 70 sources in its bibliog- these scenarios, the authors analyze,
raphy and lists over 20 URLs that among other topics, the following
Every now and then, surprises arrive were consulted; color graphs aid the direct climate signals: increasing tem-
by mail that propel our curiosity to interpretation of maps and models peratures, rainfall regimes, glacial re-
find out more about what we just included in the text. treats, El Niño and La Niña effects, and
received. This engagement with the The reader will move easily be- the frequency of extreme events. They
task of discovering details about a tween the 8 different sections en- also analyze direct social signals, such
book is precisely what makes reading riched with 4 tables, 10 line graphs, 8 as water supply and energy capture,
gratifying, stimulating further inqui- infographics, and 8 maps. It is easy to agricultural productivity and livestock
ry—and all of this in Spanish! Like a see why this collaboration has re- losses, food security, health risks, and
fine perfume in a small bottle, this sulted in a highly practical manual regional infrastructure (road network).
book on prospective scenarios of that not only presents scientific Based on these indicators, the scenar-
climate change for 2030 and 2060 in results in relation to climate model- ios for the short and long term are
the northern Altiplano of Bolivia ing applied to the highlands of South constructed with regard to population
brought to me the essence of why we America, but also compels an un- dynamics and its impact on public
do science in mountain studies. Not derstanding of the human–environ- services, economic dynamics and social
only does the size of the book allow ment relationship required to im- equity, the ‘‘governmentality’’ of public
one to read it expeditiously, but the prove the current trend at the local policy (such as in governance and
full color photograph on the cover level, if avoidance of global warming governability), and social resilience.
inspires the sense of wonder and the is to be possible at a larger scale. Hoffmann and Requena (right-
intense urge to dig into its pages. However, the authors are also keen to fully) hypothesize that, in order to
In an attempt to guide readers point out that the book does not cope with the demands of a changing
into this delight, the back cover alerts pretend to draw catastrophic sce- world under warmer conditions, so-
us that the study is a report-like narios. Shifting the focus from the ciety as a whole needs to be more
rendition of a project implemented scientific foundations of global envi- sensitive to issues of climate change.
by the Bolivian Mountain Institute ronmental change to the reality of This is particularly important for
and the Bolivian Strategic Research warming in Bolivia, the authors then leaders and youth in mountain areas,
Program Foundation, two nongov- situate the analysis in the northern because they will be prompted to opt
ernmental organizations working on Altiplano and its unique natural, for radical solutions in a crisis man-
key issues related to the mountain ethnic, demographic, and socioeco- agement approach, instead of using
environment in the central Andes. nomic characteristics. Then, with a environmental planning for incre-
Readers will also discover that fund- clear description of the methodolo- mental conflict resolution. It has been

Mountain Research and Development Vol 34 No 4 Nov 2014: 418–419 418 http://dx.doi.org/10.1659/mrd.mm147 ! 2014 by the authors
MountainMedia

agreed that the most heavily impacted tion in Bolivia in terms of migration contribution to the Spanish litera-
systems on Earth will be those of the and population dynamics in the ture on climate change and to the
high tropical mountains, such as the highlands, water abstraction and dis- availability of these materials for
Andes, where young Bolivians and tribution to an increasingly thirsty environmental communications in
their leaders will be prompted to landscape, introduction of agricul- South America. ¡Me huele bien! The
increase environmental agency. The tural and livestock species that are aroma left from this gift brings hope
authors conclude their argument by adapted to local conditions, and for the future of mountain people of
analyzing the prospect of a lack of above all, increasing resilience the Altiplano. The late ecologist
social cohesion—due to insufficient through risk management programs Eugene P. Odum said it best: ‘‘We
efforts to reduce poverty, precarious in the Northern Altiplano that reflect shall be neither optimistic nor pessi-
social programs, pollution, crime, and participatory governance and devel- mistic, but hopeful.’’
other factors—and suggest short-term opment planning as a social invest-
measures to reorient the pathways ment rather than a social trap fed by
towards substantive gains in social uncertainty.
awareness of climate change that will The fragrance is gratifying. I am AUTHOR
lead to progressive, sustainable liveli- glad to have received this book, Fausto O. Sarmiento
fsarmien@uiga.edu
hoods. The authors argue that using which is small in size but large in Neotropical Montology Collaboratory, University
the variable ‘‘climate change’’ in the potential use—not only in terms of of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
political discourse and the technical its practical implications for envi-
management of government policy ronmental policy and call for social Open access article: please credit the authors and
will advance climate change adapta- action, but also in terms of its the full source.

Mountain Research and Development 419 http://dx.doi.org/10.1659/mrd.mm147

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