Category Archives: Uncategorized

Conservation through coexistence: Andean bears and people in Bolivia

Ximena is a conservation fellow at Chester Zoo UK, and research associate at WildCRU, University of Oxford. Based in Bolivia, Xime has been actively involved in the study of the ecology and  conservation of Andean bears. She has an M.S. in Geographic Information Systems from the  University of Leicester, UK, and a Ph.D from the University of Antwerp, Belgium

Thursday 25 May 2017, 18.30
Room G34, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Tickets, including refreshments: members and non-members £5, students (with valid ID) £3

Conserving large carnivores is a pressing issue worldwide.  The ecological and conservation roles of bears, as keystone and umbrella species, and even the cultural importance of this group addressed by the scientific community, is rarely reflected at the local level where communities suffer diverse costs from coexisting with bears. In Bolivia 45% of people live in poverty, and Inter-Andean dry forest (IADF) poverty reaches the 90%. This is a joint project of Chester Zoo and WildCRU to assess human-bear conflict in the Inter – Andean dry forest of Tarija, Bolivia, an ecosystem identified as a priority for Andean bear research and conservation, and to estimate bear’s population size.

 

How Bolivia curbed coca production by moving away from violent crackdowns

Dr Thomas Grisaffi is a social anthropologist currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of the Americas (University College London). His main research focus is the political ascent of the Chapare coca growers’ union in Bolivia.

Thursday 6 April 2017, 18.30
Room G34, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Tickets, including refreshments:
non-members £8, members £6, students (with valid ID) £5

Bolivia is the world’s third largest producer of cocaine, a drug manufactured from coca leaf – which is central to Andean culture. On coming to power in 2006 President Morales made a radical break with the previous US-backed anti-drugs strategy, which focused on the forced eradication of coca leaf and the criminalisation of coca growers. That approach resulted in two decades of violence, and neither reduced coca production nor restricted the flow of drugs reaching the US. Bolivia’s new policy, often referred to as ‘coca yes cocaine no’, draws on the coca growers’ own distinction between coca leaf and cocaine. The strategy legalized the cultivation of a small amount of coca leaf in specific zones, encourages the coca unions to self-police to ensure growers do not exceed this limit, and envisions the industrialization and export of coca-based products.

The overriding aim of the policy is to reduce harmsto coca grower communities. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork carried out in the Chapare coca-growing region Thomas Grisaffi provides a bottom up account of the new coca policy.

 

Umaturka “The call of the water”

Screening of the Documentary By:
Giovanna Miralles & Dr. Peter Wilkin
Thursday, 8 December 2016 at 18:30

Joint presentation with the Institute of Latin American Studies Room 22 / 26, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU

Tickets: Non-members £8, Members £6, Students (with valid ID) £5 Glass of wine and refreshments included.

For booking email:  anglobolivian@gmail.com

In the Bolivian Andes members of the Aymara community of Quillacas perform an annual ritual to summon rain clouds at the end of the dry season that reflects the ecological co-dependency of the Andes and the Amazonian region. In Umaturka artist, writer and filmmaker Giovanna Miralles and environmental anthropologist Peter Wilkin allow the protagonists in the events to relate a sometimes fraught and contentious narrative. The result is an unsentimental portrait of the reality of an ancient tradition in a modern world. In November 2015 Giovanna and Peter presented the film’s trailer to Anglo-Bolivian Society members and friends who can now enjoy the completed documentary. There will be a stall offering merchandise, the proceeds from which will go towards funding the modification of the museum in Quillacas so the film can be permanently available to the community.

“Bella Vista” Fighting blindness in the Bolivian Amazon

Dave Goldsmith
Founder of the Andean Medical Mission

Ophthalmic scientist, born in Bolivia and working to find and treat blindness for the people living in isolated communities in the jungles and along the many rivers of the lowlands.

Thursday 22 September
18:30 pm
Joint presentation
with the Institute of Latin American Studies

Senate House, Bedford Room G34, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU
Tickets: Non-members £8, Members £6, Students (with valid ID) £5
Refreshments and nibbles included.
Send email for booking to: anglobolivian@gmail.com         

Living anywhere as a blind person is difficult.  However, it is disproportionally harsh in the Amazon and living here as a blind or partially sighted person, very hard indeed. Dave and his team have been working to eliminate avoidable blindness in Northern Bolivia since 2011.

Cut off from civilization by a challenging jungle environment, large distances from health care services and precluded from treatment by high cost and low incomes, blindness in Northern Bolivia is nearly four times higher than that of the UK.

Dave’s has many beautiful slides and film to show the way of life here and explains the logistical challenges of running a mobile eye hospital to help these people. Northern Bolivia has a diverse and rich culture and is home to some amazing wildlife much of which is shown throughout the talk. We look forward to seeing you.

“Fiesta Boliviana” Summer Picnic in Regents Park on Marylebone Green

Sunday, 31 July 14:30 till 18:00

All ABS members, friends, families, children are cordially invited. Please bring drinks, refreshments, juices, salads, pasta, quinoa, salteñas – Bolivian specialities most welcome — sandwiches, cake, nibbles and fruit to share.

Don’t forget balloons, blankets, sunglasses, funny hats, umbrellas, sun cream. Bring sweets, biscuits, energy bars to fill the piñata. We will have lots of fun playing Bolivian games and listening to Bolivian music. Everybody welcome

Marylebone Green is in Regents Park, close to Regents Park tube. Turn left as you leave the station, walk along Marylebone Road. Turn right into Park Square West and at the end of this street cross the Outer Circle and enter the park. There is a coffee bar on the left and a children’s playground on the right. Beyond the playground is a wooded area where you will spot us.

http://www.royalparks.org.uk/__documents/park_maps/regentspark_english_map.pdf

Call 07711 707 402 or 07931 936 209 for confirmation / weather check before leaving home.