We need nature more than nature needs us
29 Apr, 2020 | Anneli Aliaga and Valeria Dorado
When quarantine is no longer obligatory and we are free to roam, we will remember how much we missed exploring Bolivia’s magnificent natural landscapes. But until then, it is important to reflect on how one-sided our relationship with nature is. Sadly, our feelings towards nature are not reciprocated, as we have proven that mankind has done more harm than good when it comes to respecting the environment. The pandemic has allowed nature to take a breather and it has given us the time to understand that our future relationship with nature needs to be based on respect, kindness, protection and eco-consciousness.
The tables have turned. It is up to mankind to take on a maternal and nurturing role as protector of Mother Nature. All of the conservation projects that already exist in Bolivia are a good place to start. At least 16 percent of national territory is considered to be protected land, but this does not mean it is exempt from facing environmental threats due to pollution, deforestation, global warming and animal trafficking.
This photostory expresses the mixed feelings Bolivians feel towards their natural surroundings: a sense of nostalgia, awe, pride, and fear. The photographs of the Cordillera Real, the Ancohuma and the Illimani mountain manifest a sense of nostalgia and awe for Bolivians who, cooped up inside, miss the postcard-perfect skyline of La Paz. The photographs of protected Bolivian lands such as Madidi, Sajama, the Eduardo Avaroa reserve and Tucabaca inspire sentiments of national pride. Yet, fear for the future of conservation in Bolivia exists due to our awareness of mankind’s carelessness and selfishness when it comes to the environment. Photography is a medium through which some of the world’s most overwhelmingly beautiful sights can reach us and soothe us during these difficult and stagnant times. Mother Nature is doing just fine without us, and we will hopefully never forget that.
Mirador de Tucavaca, Natural Reserve. Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Ollague Volcano, Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve. Potosí, Bolivia.
Cordillera Real, Bolivia.
Illimani. La Paz, Bolivia.
Ancohuma, mountain of the Central Cordillera of the Andes.