CCE Country Profile


Table of Contents

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I) Climate change context

Located in South America, Bolivia is a tropical country with altitudinal and geological variations that create complex ecosystems. Bolivia is a landlocked country with a population of around 12 million people (World Bank, 2022). Approximately 41% of the country’s population is Indigenous, according to the last census of the National Institute of Statistics (INE), run in 2012. 

According to its Political Constitution (2009), Bolivia is a unitary social state of plurinational community law (the Plurinational State of Bolivia). This means that the government is based on principles of plurality, which includes political, economic, legal, cultural and linguistic pluralism

Based on its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) (2021-2030), Bolivia is considered the tenth-most vulnerable country to the effects of climate change. The Third National Communication (2020) states that this vulnerability is a result of both natural factors (including climate change effects) and socio-economic factors, which include poverty, unsafe infrastructure, migration, human settlement in areas that are exposed to threats and low institutional capacity. Natural disasters are caused mainly by intensive rainfalls due to changes in the Earth system’s normal patterns, which generate floods, overflows and landslides. In addition, the overall decrease in rainfall causes agricultural and hydrological droughts, and low temperatures cause frost, cold waves and hailstorms. Wildfires can occur due to lack of rain and high temperatures. The World Bank notes that Bolivia is also affected by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). 

According to the Global Carbon Atlas (2021), Bolivia is a low-emitting country, emitting around 1.9 tCO2/person. According to the Third National Communication (2020), the highest-emitting sectors in in 2008 were the energy sector (17.3%), and the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector, which contributed to 80.9% of the total emissions. 

Bolivia joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a Non-Annex I party in 1994. The country signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 1999, the Paris Agreement in 2016, and the Doha Amendment in 2019. At the regional level, Bolivia was a negotiator and signed the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Affairs in Latin America and the Caribbean (the Escazu Agreement) in 2018.

II) Relevant government agencies

Climate change

The Ministry of Environment and Water is the entity responsible for providing drinking water to the whole country, promoting sectoral development methods, and managing the quality of the environment and Earth’s resources. It does this through public services that are based on transparent administration. The ministry also addresses climate change issues through its decentralized entities.

As a decentralized institution of the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Vice Ministry of Environment, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Forest Management is responsible for environmental conservation, climate change policies, and international agendas in terms of sustainable development. The vice ministry also houses the National Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Focal Point

The vice ministry consists of three directorates: the General Directorate of Biodiversity and Protected Areas, the General Directorate of Forest Management and Development, and the General Directorate of Environment and Climate Change. This last directorate is responsible for managing, overseeing and coordinating actions that prevent, control and mitigate activities that impact the environment. The directorate also addresses and coordinates parallel activities with the other directorates and the ministry. 

The Ministry of Development Planning leads the integral planning of the country to achieve its socio-economic development goals. The ministry aims to strengthen the country’s productive capacities through its Living Well initiative. It also oversees the implementation of national policies, as well as the implementation of climate change approaches in the planning process. In 2021, the Ministry presented the Economic and Social Development Plan (2021-2025), which aligns with the Nationally Determined Contribution (2021-2030)and the Patriotic Agenda 2025 (2016), which also articulates environmental goals. 

In 1997, the National Service of Protected Areas (SERNAP) was created as a decentralized body of the Ministry of Environment and Water. The SERNAP is responsible for overseeing the protected areas of the country and the conservation of biological and cultural diversity. The SERNAP also aims to strengthen networks among the central state and the autonomous territorial entities to improve environmental protection and management. There are 22 protected areas, which cover 17% of the country and which have the greatest biodiversity. These areas are also home to around 200,000 people, including 14 Indigenous groups. 

The Plurinational Authority for Mother Earth is a pillar institution supported by the Framework Law of Mother Earth and Integral Development to Living Well (Law 300, 2012) that tackles climate change through three measures: mitigation, adaptation and the integration of both. The authority is responsible for formulating, implementing and monitoring the Plurinational Climate Change Policy (first published in 2016 and updated in 2023). According to the Nationally Determined Contribution (2021-2030), the Plurinational Authority for Mother Earth coordinates every level of the state that is involved in crisis management arising from climate change-related events.

The Ministry of Rural Development and Lands supports the agricultural sector by designing, implementing and executing policies that facilitate integral and sustainable rural development. The ministry aims to ensure food security and sovereignty and to facilitate benefits for small scale agricultral organizations, Indigenous communities and business sectors. The ministry is also involved in initiatives related to climate change, such as capacity building, public participation and climate resilience. It also supports local municipalities to implement sectoral plans and to ensure that the agricultural sector has access to water. 

Other sectors are also fighting climate change. For instance, in June 2023, the Ministry of Health and Sports encouraged the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) members to consider and prioritize climate change issues to protect people’s health. In 2021, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) the Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposed the establishment of an Assembly of the Earth to address climate change, advocating for a stronger focus on ‘Mother Earth’ (based on non-anthropocentric paradigms), and inviting UNFCCC members to discuss global commitments contained in international agreements, such as the Paris Agreement. 

According to the Plurinational Climate Change Policy (2023) in order to increase the level of knowledge in climate change adaptation and mitigation, autonomous territorial entities play an important role alongside the state in designing and executing projects and plans, undertaking technology transfer related to climate adaptation, and developing capacity at the institutional and social levels. 

There is also multinational cooperation in relation to climate change. In particular, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Consortium for Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion has been working in ecosystem conservation and the well-being of rural communities in the Andean regions since 1993, cooperating with regional organizations, national governments and civil society. The NGO has headquarters in Ecuador and Peru, but it also works with Bolivian institutions, including the Ministry of Environment and Water, to implement initiatives concerned with sustainable development, sustainable forestry, environmental conservation and climate change adaptation and mitigation. International organizations such as Helvetas, based in Switzerland, also run climate change projects, with a strong focus on resilience to climate change and disasters. The organization’s overall aim is to empower people from low-income countries to better adapt to climate change, reduce disaster risks, sustainably manage natural resources and conserve biodiversity.

Education and communication

The Ministry of Education is responsible for guaranteeing quality education and building a just society in harmony with nature that can sustain the development of the country, based on the ‘Living Well’ (Vivir Bien) model. The ministry is in charge of the design and execution of educational strategies with approaches that promote inclusivity, equality, interculturalism, the appropriate application of science and technology, and public participation. 

The Vice Ministry of Higher Education for Vocational Training falls under the Ministry of Education, and is responsible for developing, managing and conducting the policies on higher education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sectors.

The Biodiversity and Environment Research (CIBIOMA) was created in 2013 as part of the Autonomous University of Beni Jose Ballivian (UABJB). The centre generates, collects, analyses and disseminates data on biological diversity and the environment to facilitate decision-making at the national level. The centre’s Department of Dissemination and Environmental Education runs initiatives that facilitate access to information, research, public participation, awareness-raising and pedagogical activities on environmental affairs. 

In July 2022, the Bolivian Government and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) promoted the establishment of the Roundtable on Education, Environment, and Climate Change. According to the Vice Ministry of Environment, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Forest Management, this is ‘a working community where public and private institutions, social organizations, climate change networks, international cooperation and civil society, in general, come together’ (n.p). 

The National Institute of Statistics (INE) is the entity in charge of collecting, analysing and disseminating official national information and statistics. It covers areas such as agriculture, health, employment, human rights, the environment and education.

The National Service for the Sustainability of Services and Basic Sanitation (SENASBA) aims to provide support to strengthen entities in the water sustainability sector and basic sanitation services. The entity provides capacity-building, including for projects on environmental education and climate change.

III) Relevant laws, policies, and plans

Climate change

Bolivia has a relatively young Political Constitution, launched in 2009. The constitution mandates that the state protect the environment through the responsible use of natural resources to ensure the well-being of current and future generations, and that people have the right to a healthy, protected, and balanced environment (Articles 9; 33).

In 2010, the government passed the Law of Mother’s Earth Rights (Law 071, 2010), which recognizes the rights of Mother Earth, as well as the obligations and duties of the state and the society to guarantee the respect of these rights. According to the law, the state is obliged to develop policies that encourage national and international cooperation in the face of climate change. 

The Framework Law of Mother Earth and Integral Development to Living Well (Law 300, 2012) has national reach. It aims to establish the basis of integral development in harmony and balance with Mother Earth by generating capacities that include local and ancestral knowledge. The law led to the creation of the Plurinational Authority for Mother Earth. The authority is empowered to implement climate mitigation and adaptation policies. The document also specifies key national concepts and priorities that are mainstreamed through different environmental/climate change legal frameworks, such as Living Well and Mother Earth:

“‘The Living Well’ or ‘EI Vivir Bien’ (Sumaj Kamafia, Sumaj Kausay, Yaiko Kavi Pave). It is an alternative civilizational and cultural horizon to capitalism and modernity that is born in the worldviews of indigenous peasant nations and peoples, and intercultural and Afro-Bolivian communities, and is conceived in the context of interculturality. It is achieved in a collective, complementary, and supportive way, integrating in its practical realization, among other dimensions, the social, cultural, political, economic, ecological, and effective, to allow the encounter harmonious between the set of beings, components and resources of Mother Earth. It means living in complementarity, in harmony and balance with Mother Earth and societies, in equity and solidarity and eliminating inequalities and mechanisms of domination. It is Living Well among us, Living Well with what surrounds us and Living Well with oneself.”

– (Article 5.2)

“Mother Earth. It is the dynamic living system made of the indivisible community of all life systems and living beings, interrelated, interdependent and complementary, sharing a common destiny. Mother Earth is considered sacred; it feeds and is the home that contains, sustains, and reproduces all living beings, ecosystems, biodiversity, organic societies, and the individuals that compose it.”

– (Article 5.1)

Law No.777 Comprehensive State Planning System (2016) strives for appropriate planning for Bolivia’s integral development within the Living Well model. The law empowers the Ministry of Development Planning to function as a governing body that must include climate change management guidelines for planning processes. In parallel, territorial and sectoral comprehensive development plans will also include risk management and climate change criteria.

The Bolivian Government launched the Patriotic Agenda 2025 (2016) to achieve important objectives by 2025 in terms of industrialization and development and to be aligned and in harmony with natural processes and Mother Earth. Environmental goals include the strengthening of international climate commitments, environmental conservation, reforestation, addressing resource depletion, and capacity-building to counter the risks caused by climate change and natural disasters.

The Plurinational Climate Change Policy was presented in 2016 and updated in 2023. The policy was structured under the framework of the Patriotic Agenda 2025 (2016) and the Economic and Social Development Plan (2016-2020). Specific objectives include promoting and strengthening the implementation of sectoral and multi-sectoral adaptation and resilience-based activities, which should also be integrated with sustainable forest management. 

The Economic and Social Development Plan (2021-2025) establishes short-term planning guidelines and promotes a balanced approach to the Living Well model of government. The plan focuses on the strengthening of education, science and research; the inclusion of environmental components; and the promotion of mitigation and adaptation activities in relation to climate change. 

Its goals are aligned with the Nationally Determined Contribution (2021-2030). 

After considering climate change as one of the greatest crises that humans and Mother Earth are facing, and to address climate challenges in the country, in 2022 the Bolivian Government presented a Climate Emergency Bill. The aim is to establish inter-institutional actions and mechanisms that focus on climate change mitigation, closing gaps between the central government and local authorities and improving planning and direct actions in different sectors. The emphasis is also on monitoring and evaluation, in particular in relation to loss and damage caused by rising temperatures. 

The Bolivian Government presented its Nationally Determined Contribution (2021-2030), which includes a strong focus on increasing the adapting capacities to climate change among the country’s most vulnerable people, including Indigenous groups, women, and children. The document articulates Bolivia’s proposed structural solution to the global climate crisis:

“The paradigm of Living Well in harmonious balance with Mother Earth, understanding this end as the civilizational horizon and cultural alternative to capitalism and vulnerability, linked to respect for the rights of Mother Earth, climate justice, based on the principles of equity and common responsibility but activities, the strengthening of integral development for Living Well and the promotion of the economy of Mother Earth.”

– (p.13)

The Nationally Determined Contribution (2021-2030) states the government’s commitment to updating its Strategy of Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), which will be fostered and taken forward by the Plurinational Authority for Mother Earth (APMT).

Education and communication

The Bolivian Government has implemented different initiatives for environmental education over a number of years. For instance, the Environment Law (Law 1333) from 1992 fosters the protection and conservation of the environment by regulating human behaviour and activities. Section VII refers to environmental education as being a pillar of society. It encourages sectors such as government and academia to promote and facilitate actions in the field of environmental education and information. 

In 2009, the National Strategy of Education and Communication for Climate Change was launched to foster climate change awareness-raising, as well as education programmes and processes. The strategy aimed in particular to create and increase awareness about the impacts of climate change in society, including crucial stakeholders in the education and communication sector, such as teachers, students and relevant organizations. 

The passing of the Education Law (070) in 2010 established education as a fundamental right. The law covers general aspects of the Bolivian education system, highlighting the importance of sociocultural and linguistic diversity in learning processes. The law promotes the development of scientific and technological research linked to innovation and knowledge-building as key to facing poverty, social exclusion and environmental degradation. It also states that the education system should aim to build awareness about the need to protect biodiversity, the land and Mother Earth through practices such as the consumption of eco-friendly products. 

The basic Curriculum of the Plurinational Educational System was launched in 2012, establishing the general guidelines for the Bolivian educational model, and emphasizing the importance of maintaining the experience and knowledge of all Indigenous groups and Bolivian citizens. The curriculum also recognizes the impact of accelerated climate change in the environment. The curriculum promotes a balanced and harmonious coexistence with Mother Earth by encouraging an integral and holistic awareness.

The Framework Law of Mother Earth and Integral Development to Living Well (Law 300, 2012) recognizes intracultural and intercultural education as key to building the foundations of the Living Well model. To this end the government promotes policies that acknowledge, value and protect ancestral knowledge, as well as capacity-building for environmental protection and conservation. The law also promotes collaboration between the public and private sectors and academia to develop appropriate research and information on disaster risk management, with a focus on climate change adaptation. 

The Plurinational Climate Change Policy (2023) includes in its objectives the strengthening of educational processes and continuous training on climate change mitigation and adaptation. The policy includes capacity-building, awareness raising, and educational initiatives for adaptation and resilience to reduce the country’s vulnerability to climate change. 

As a way of updating the country’s education system, every year a ministerial resolution is launched to regulate the relevant planning for procedures, organization, execution and monitoring. In 2022, the Ministerial Resolution 0001/2022 General Standards of Educational Management for the Regular Education Subsystem entrusted departmental directorates to inform the Vice Ministry of Regular Education about the school calendar in relation to regional features such as weather conditions, risk management and climate change challenges. The resolution calls for education to be in harmony with Mother Earth and community health, and for curricula development to include an integral approach to ensure food security, risk management and the rights of Mother Earth. The Ministerial Resolution 001/2023 General Standards of Educational Management for the Regular Education Subsystem of 2023 shows continuity with this by calling on the Vice Ministry of Regular Education to take climate change issues into account when setting the school calendar. 

The Base Curriculum Design of Vocational Training–Technical and Technological was launched in 2017, establishing the guidelines for technical and vocational education and training (TVET). The curriculum includes different axes such as education for production, education for Living Well, education for integral productive innovation, and education for life. The curriculum promotes sustainable technical careers and includes environmental approaches in the productive sectors.

In 2021, the Ministry of Environment and Water presented the Plurinational System of Information and Comprehensive Monitoring of Mother Earth and Climate Change. This is defined by the Plurinational Authority for Mother Earth as an instrument for registering, follow-up, and the monitoring and evaluation of the manifestations of climate change, and disseminating official information about it and its relationship with the systems of Mother Earth. According to the Ministry of Environment and Water, the system’s valuable information makes it possible to observe advances made in relation to adaptation and mitigation. It also enhances decision-making processes and supports the most vulnerable people such as Indigenous people, women, youth and children.

IV) Terminology used for climate communication and education

The term ‘climate change’ can be found in several formal documents, including the Bolivian Legal Framework. One such document is the Economic and Social Development Plan (2021-2025), which states:

“One of the biggest problems facing humanity is a phenomenon caused by excess artificial gasses, generating the greenhouse effect. The solar rays penetrate the atmosphere, reaching to collide with the earth’s crust, which acts like a reflector, making the rays come out of the same. Artificial gasses interfere with this path, again reflecting the rays toward Earth. As gasses increase, the greenhouse effect increases, therefore, the temperature rises, causing global warming.”

– (p.36)

In terms of education, the Political Constitution (2009) stipulates educational objectives and the inclusion of national principles such as Living Well. The Political Constitution includes environmental conservation education in the section on education: 

“Education will have as its objective the integral formation of people and the strengthening of critical social awareness in life and for life. Education will be oriented to individual training and collective; to the development of competencies, aptitudes and physical and intellectual abilities that link theory with productive practice; to the conservation and protection of the environment, biodiversity, and the territory for living well.”

– (Article 80)

The National Strategy of Education and Communication for Climate Change (2009) refers to climate change education as a key component of general education: 

“Education for Climate Change is part of personality education itself influencing the knowledge, criteria, convictions, and attitudes of man in relation to his environment (environment) for what is considered a component of training and general education that is inseparable from the educational process.”

– (p.10)

The National Strategy of Education and Communication for Climate Change (2009) has a clear focus on ‘awareness raising’, highlighting the importance of building sound awareness about the causes and effects of climate change.

Bolivia’s Nationally Determined Contribution (2021-2030) refers to environmental education as ‘a critical social practice that promotes environmental and climate education (formal and non-formal), for the formation of an aware and responsible citizenry in the exercise and defence of Mother Earth’s rights’ (p.11). 

Concepts such as ‘climate justice’ are also found in Bolivian legislation. For instance, the Framework Law of Mother Earth and Integral Development to Living Well (Law 300, 2012) recognizes that climate justice includes common but different responsibilities among the countries to face the climate crisis. The law highlights the right of the Bolivian people, especially those most affected by climate change, to achieve the Living Well objectives by respecting Mother Earth’s regenerating capacities. 

There are other terms related to climate change education and communication, such as ‘capacity’. The Patriotic Agenda 2025 (2016) notes that Bolivia does not suffer from water scarcity and that it has the ‘capacity’ to prevent risks that are caused by climate change. 

V) Budget for climate communication and education

According to the World Bank, in 2020 the Government of Bolivia spent 9.8% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on education, although the amount of money allocated to climate change education is not specified. 

The Framework Law of Mother Earth and Integral Development to Living Well (Law 300, 2012) establishes the Plurinational Mother Earth Fund as a financing mechanism administered through the Plurinational Authority for Mother Earth. The fund is responsible for managing and allocating resources effectively and transparently in support of mitigation and adaptation activities arising from the plans and programmes that the authority runs. The authority releases public financing information, although funding for climate change education has not been specified. 

International and national authorities also play an essential role in financing projects related to climate change. The National Forestry Development Fund is a legal entity that works under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Water promoting, managing and granting financial resources for programmes and projects focused on the conservation, protection and management of forests and the environment. At the time of writing, there were 27 active projects under the fund’s support, with a number focusing on communication and capacity-building. In 2022, the projects collectively received around US$28 million (Bs.193 million) from the fund.

According to the Third National Communication (2020), the country has faced financial obstacles in effectively implementing the Plurinational Climate Change Policy (2016, updated in 2023). In parallel, the Nationally Determined Contribution (2021-2030) notes that due to the difficult national circumstances and financing constraints, it is vital for the country to access international climate funding. 

The Resilient Andes to Climate Change programme has secured the cooperation of international organizations such as Helvetas to assist in developing micro funds and climate funds in the country. The programme is a response to the need for funding to support climate adaptation. The programme includes the development of micro-funding proposals to support climate-resilient production of Alpaca products, and conducting vulnerability diagnostics to identify the challenges and opportunities of small and medium-sized producers, especially relating to access to agricultural credit from financial entities.  

International institutions such as the Green Climate Fund give financial support for climate change projects in Bolivia. The Green Climate Fund funds initiatives for capacity-building, climate resilience projects, and gender action plans. At the time of writing, Bolivia had received around US $33 million from the Fund.


I) Climate change in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education

Environmental education is fairly established in Bolivia’s education sector. The inclusion of climate change education has increased significantly, and activities are run in parallel to those for environmental education. The National Strategy of Education and Communication for Climate Change (2009) directly addresses climate change education in the country. To effectively integrate climate change into the educational process, the strategy focused on the inclusion of climate change concepts in new curricula; the transfer of climate change information and technology to educational spaces; teacher training; and ongoing interaction with families. 

The Ministry of Education implements the Learning Texts 2023-2024, which are available online. The Learning Texts 2023-2024 materials are split into different grades, and include subjects such as social sciences, the natural sciences and languages The curricula also offer QR codes throughout the texts to help students and teachers access more information, such as audio-visual content and complementary readings, including climate change material. For instance, the biology-geography section from the 6th Grade Curriculum offers QR codes linked to YouTube videos on topics such as Water Resource Management and the Protected Areas of Bolivia. The QR codes can also link to sources for the National Service of Protected Areas.

Environmental topics are developed in the 6th Grade Curriculum for primary school, especially in the natural sciences section. Students are encouraged to learn about natural resources, waste, the use of energy and resources, renewable energies and other topics that address the need to protect Mother Earth. The curriculum includes cognitive learning, as well as action learning processes that encourage students to cooperate around tackling climate change in the real world, such as comprehensive waste management and energy use. The curriculum specifically mentions climate change, the causes and effects of climate change, greenhouse effects and global warming. It specifically highlights how climate change has impacted the country and discusses measures for facing the climate crisis. 

For secondary school, the 5th Grade Curriculum includes natural sciences, which are split into biology, geography, physics and chemistry. Environmental topics and climate change are covered. Climate change is mentioned in mathematics when statistics are used in an exercise to show students the reality of climate change. Climate change is framed as an anthropocentric issue. Mitigation measures are covered, including roundtable discussions for students and teachers to devise such measures for dealing with natural disasters. The teaching of physics includes energy use processes and the use of renewable energies. 

The Regionalized Curriculum from the Afro-Bolivian People seeks to provide an education to Afro-Bolivian people that embraces their culture, values and identity, and includes intercultural approaches. The curriculum includes climate change in primary and secondary modules. For example, the content of the 5th-Grade Vocational Community Elementary Education includes themes on the consequences of climate change through the use and creation of audio-visual material such as videos, posters, magazines and comics. This encourage students to reflect on the causes and consequences of climate change in particular sectors such as the productive and health sectors. 

Following a holistic approach, the Curriculum for Secondary Education: Productive Community 2023 (2022) aims to include the experiences and knowledge from people from the Nations and Indigenous Peoples (NPIOs) at schools, ensuring the inclusion of native languages. The curriculum allows for autonomy in contextualizing the contents for a particular school’s needs. Climate change is included among the expected learning outcomes. For instance, third-grade secondary school students are encouraged to understand and describe climate change effects, highlighting environmental pollution and its consequences in their communities, and guiding them to create solutions for the preservation and care of Mother Earth. Fourth-grade secondary schools include a focus on ecology and the environmental crisis, which includes topics such as climate change, sustainable development, as well as the Law of Mother’s Earth Rights (Law 071,2010) and the Framework Law of Mother Earth and Integral Development to Living Well (Law 300, 2012). 

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) cooperates with national entities, including the Ministry of Environment and Water to promote the establishment of the Roundtable of Education, Environment, and Climate Change. UNICEF invites representatives from the Ministry of Education to develop updates on the national curricula and to cooperate around the improvement of infrastructure, climate action and risk management. UNICEF also assists in enhancing learning processes in Bolivia, noting the vulnerability of the country to climate change and also how education can empower Bolivian children to prevent climate crises more effectively and reduce their vulnerability.

Due to the efforts of the Ministry of Environment and Water, the autonomous territorial entities, and stakeholders such as the Consortium for Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN), the educational publication Acua Heroes Fighting for Adaptation to Climate Change was created in February of 2022, under the Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in the Andes (AICCA) programme. The book includes information, stories, and games to teach students about the importance of adapting to climate change with an emphasis on protecting water resources and the environment. The programme is gaining momentum and is being implemented in different schools. In October 2022, the book was being used in five schools from the department of Cochabamba, benefiting primary 4th and 5th grade students and teachers. Local authorities and stakeholders are disseminating the educational tool in urban and rural areas. 

Initiatives related to climate change education are also developed by decentralized authorities. For example, the Autonomous Municipal Government of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other stakeholders created the Municipal Environmental Education , where students are encouraged to learn about environmental values and environmental protection. The centre hosts and runs activities and programmes including workshops, environmental events, environmental videos, and temporary exhibitions.

II) Climate change in teacher training and teacher resources

The Ministry of Education offers updated material for teachers, so they continuously develop their skills through pedagogical guidelines in a range of subject areas. For instance, the curricula for teachers’ Learning Texts 2023-2024-Natural Science (Biology-Geography) include climate change topics such as climate change, its causes and effects, mitigation and adaptation measures, local environmental problems related to climate change, and air pollution. Teachers can build their knowledge through the curricula and are also encouraged to learn interactive activities that they can use in their classes. 

In 2015, the Complementary Training Programme for Teachers in Practice was launched, with a focus on diagnosing educational methods for strengthening the permanent plans for regional community education, promoting the inclusion of new knowledge, strategies and methodologies. The document stresses that climate change brings new challenges. It encourages the teachers to reflect on regional climate situations under the Living Well principles, and to consider Indigenous experiences and traditions that have been used as survival methods, as well as collaborating on mitigation and prevention of natural disasters. 

Working in parallel with the support of stakeholders such as UNICEF, the Bolivian Government conducts the Roundtable of Education, Environment, and Climate Change. This participatory platform includes efforts to improve teacher training on climate change. The initiative began in July 2022, and its objectives include the strengthening of teacher training in environmental conservation. The Vice Minister of Education noted that taking care of the environment is a high priority for the government. 

The Pedagogical University focuses on teacher training. The university promotes intercultural and multilingual knowledge production. At the time of writing, no courses or study programmes related to climate change had been found. However, the university’s contributions to environmental education is evident in the Programme of Environmental Education, Science and Technology with Experiments, which was developed in 2019 for schools nationally to promote the development of science that is linked to environment conservation among students and teachers. 

Teachers also benefited from Forest of the Children (BOSNI) programme implemented by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Biodiversity and Environment Research . The programme, which seeks to increase citizens’ participation in environmental and climate change issues and strengthen urban resilience and sustainability, has indirectly impacted around 350 teachers from the municipality of Trinidad, and 1,200 teachers from the municipality of La Paz. The teachers participated in the educational activities and received teaching materials to use in class. 

The Bolivian Government has made efforts to increase the number of teachers who are qualified in environmental and climate change subjects. The National Strategy of Education and Communication for Climate Change (2009) states that:

“Education for Climate Change has a vast field of action and to take it to every corner of the country it will be the work of educators is essential. The teacher must carry out activities of Environmental Education and Changes in their own family, student groups, relatives, community organizations, friends, and other workers in their center and with everyone they have contact with in one way or another.”

– (p.9)

III) Climate change in higher education

Different institutions and stakeholders cooperate to include climate education or related topics in higher education. For instance, the Vice Ministry of Environment, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Forest Management signed an Interinstitutional agreement on cooperation, training and work (2021) alongside the General Directorate of Peasant Academic units from the Catholic University of San Pablo. The agreement focuses on delivering the theoretical and practical aspects of the programmes in agronomy and zootechnics, aiming to promote the sustainable use of natural resources, biodiversity and the environment. 

The Biodiversity and Environment Research works within the scope of the Autonomous University of Beni, ‘Jose Ballivian (UABJB), promoting research on environmental affairs to generate valuable materials and resources for decision-making, disseminating information and environmental education. At the time of writing, no further information on the centre was found. 

The National Plan of Science, Technology and Innovation was presented in 2013 to foster the country’s science and technology sectors. The plan aims to addresses national challenges by strengthening postgraduate programmes and disseminating scientific knowledge around the country. This is done through three key pillars: developing inclusive science and technology; training talent for science and technology; and ensuring sovereignty in science and technology. The plan focuses on eight sectors including natural resources, the environment, biodiversity, and local-ancestral knowledge from ancestral Indigenous groups. The plan considers Indigenous knowledge as key to ensuring that local strategies respond more efficiently and effectively to contemporary problems such as climate change.

In 2013, the Biodiversity and Environment Research (CIBIOMA) was created. It is a unit created under the auspices of the Autonomous University of Beni, ‘Jose Ballivian’. The centre collects, generates, analyses and disseminates data on biological diversity and the environment to facilitate decision-making in the national department of Beni and in the whole country. The centre’s Department of Dissemination and Environmental Education promotes different initiatives that ensure access to information, research, public participation, awareness raising and pedagogical activities related to environmental issues. 

The Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA) in La Paz has produced a significant amount of research on climate change. In 2014, it joined the Project Promotion of a Culture of Resilience in a process to include climate change in the curricula for different career paths. Likewise, the Institute of Agricultural Research and Natural Resources (IIAREN), a unit linked to UMSA’s Faculty of Agronomy, carried out a number of climate change-related projects covering climate vulnerability, traditional knowledge, and adaptation and mitigation strategies for different crops and livestock.

The Military School of Engineering is a higher education institution that offers the Environmental Engineering Programme, which seeks to train students who aim to work on the prevention, control, mitigation and treatment of negative environmental impacts. The five-year curriculum includes subjects such as sustainable development, environmental education, air pollution, hydric contamination and environmental management. The programme notes that students will be able to develop plans and projects to prevent and mitigate environmental impacts, including the design of climate change adaptation measures.

Responding to the many challenges of climate change, the Andean University Simon Bolivar offers the Master’s Programme on Global Change, Risk Management, and Food Security. The programme aims to increase the number of qualified professionals who are equipped to tackle climate change impacts by developing multidisciplinary and holistic solutions. The programme is split into three modules: conceptual bases of global change, risk management and food security; technology and tools for climate change and global analysis; and climate change adaptation and mitigation. 

Indigenous universities in Bolivia are also including climate change in their curricula and study programmes. The ‘Bolivian Indigenous University Unibol Aymara ‘Tupak Katari’ offers a programme in Forest and Environmental Engineering that focuses on intracultural and intercultural identities and the development of technical, technological, scientific and ancestral knowledge, as well as providing a gender-equality perspective. The aim is to empower students to manage, conserve and sustainably use resources to contribute to addressing and solving socio-environmental problems such as climate change. Subjects such as ecology, climate change and ecosystems restoration are included in the curricula, and they must be taken as part of the engineering programme. 

The Bolivian Indigenous University Unibol Quechua ‘Casimiro Huanca’ offers a Master’s Programme on Agroecological Processes, Alimentary Decolonization, and Climate Change. The programme expects that professionals will be familiar with the dynamics of climate change and ways to address the global crisis through adaptation and mitigation measures. They will be able to integrate related topics such as national legislation, ancestral knowledge, public participation processes, water management, production dynamics and soil management into a coherent body of knowledge. 

The University Mayor de San Simon offers a diploma in Dialogue of Knowledge and Applied Research on Climate Change for graduate students of the Diploma of Environmental Management. The diploma is taught for five months and includes five modules: climate change; knowledge and trans disciplinarity dialogue; policies and normative framework on climate change adaptation; and the elaboration of research projects on climate change adaptation. 

The Agroecology University Cochabamba (AGRUCO) is affiliated to the agricultural, livestock, forestry and veterinary sciences faculty of the University Mayor de San Simon. The university specializes in technical, graduate and postgraduate transdisciplinary research in the fields of higher education, agro-ecology and culture. It collaborates with other universities, Indigenous communities, municipalities and other relevant entities. According to the Regional Getaway for Technology Transfer and Climate Change Action for Latin America and the Caribbean (REGATTA), the university bases its training programme on ‘Sustainable Endogenous Development to Live Well, understanding it as an interface between Andean Amazonian Indigenous science and modern Western science’. It includes topics on security and food sovereignty, the management of biocultural diversity, and a focus on mitigation and adaptation. 

The Your Scholarship Bolivia online platform gives Bolivian students a range of opportunities to study abroad, including training, conferences and training. Scholarships for climate change programmes are included, such as the Master’s Programme in Law and Economics of Climate Change offered by the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Argentina. Students are also invited to apply for scholarships to participate in international congresses such as the Youth Environmental Education Congress in Abu Dhabi in January 2024. 

The Private Technical University Cosmos (UNITEPC) hosted the Youth for Climate Justice event, where topics related to climate change such as global warming factors and environmental education were discussed and debated. The Plurinational Authority for Mother Earth’s representatives and other authorities also participated, stressing that human commitment to the conservation of the environment should be intensified. The event aims to be replicated throughout the territory to increase the number of environmental leaders. 

According to the Third National Communication (2020), Bolivia identifies the need to develop more research guidelines on climate change at the national level in the natural and social science fields. Recommendations for the development of future projects or documents such as the Third National Communication are included, with the aim of promoting the inclusion of agreements with qualified universities to generate relevant inputs.

IV) Climate change in training and adult learning

The Biodiversity and Environment Research conducts different activities and initiatives in climate change training. The centre offers pedagogical material that people can freely access, including the general public, as well as training materials. For instance, in January 2023, students in the Bolivian Army received training with an emphasis on awareness and developing pro-environmental aptitudes. 

Under the Base Curriculum Design of Vocational Training-Technical and Technological (2017) the Government of Bolivia identifies certain productive sectors of the country to be targeted for inclusion in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programmes. The curriculum includes an environmental focus in sectors such as tourism, agriculture, technology, marketing, the food industry, and ecology and the environment. The curriculum also highlights the need to strengthen climate adaptive measures, focusing especially on food security and the agricultural sector.

According to the National Forestry Development Fund, around 3,920 people have received training and technical support through the 27 projects financed by the fund. The projects are mainly related to forest conservation, sustainable forest management, soil conservation and other topics related to the environment and climate change.

The National Service for the Sustainability of Services and Basic Sanitation, in cooperation with other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Environment and Water, developed the Guide of Sanitary and Environmental Education in 2012. The guide was aimed at employees in the sanitation sector in urban areas, such as facilitators, trainers and communicators who can transmit knowledge about sanitation and the environment, including climate change. 

The Resilient Andes to Climate Change programme participates in capacity-building initiatives related to climate change issues at the national level. In 2021, the programme launched a public course on Climate Change, Nationally Determined Contribution Implementation and the Role of Institutions in the Climate Agenda. The course, which is composed of 12 weeks of 2-hour sessions, aims to introduce basic information and concepts and practical examples and facilitate a better understanding of climate change and its causes and effects. The course also included learning about the international context and Bolivia’s commitments to the UNFCCC, to which it is party. 

In July 2023, the Ministry of Rural Development and Lands announced the implementation of the Building Resilience to Climate Change in Rural Families in Bolivia (Accesos Rural) programme, which is supported financially by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The programme aims to benefit 19,703 families in rural areas. It includes the facilitation of technologies and sustainable activities, and aims to strengthen the climate adaptation capacities of producers, municipalities, regional departments, and at the national level, through campaigns, talks, training workshops and trade fairs. 

NGOs such as the Consortium for Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN) cooperate with national authorities and other international agencies such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to promote capacity-building projects related to climate change adaptation. For example, the Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in the Andes project works in the drinking water and basic sanitation sector. The project aims to contribute to water sustainability for human consumption but also to prevent risk and natural disasters in the Kanata Metropolitan Region of the Department of Cochabamba.

The Economic and Social Development Plan (2021-2025) prioritizes the implementation of mechanisms to build capacities in risk management to increase outputs on mitigation, adaptation and the monitoring of climate change as effective responses to its impacts.

Alongside this, the Nationally Determined Contribution mentions the importance of focusing on strengthening institutional capacities and human talent as an effective way of supporting climate action that is aligned with national plans and strategies across the country, and that involves all social sectors.


I) Climate change and public awareness

The Ministry of Environment and Water is in charge of raising climate awareness. For instance, in January 2022, the institution held a fair for World Environment Education Day, where different stakeholders interacted with guests. The aim was to raise awareness about the importance of wide participation in activities that promote sustainable development and environmental conservation and protection. Various decentralized authorities from the Ministry of Environment and Water and stakeholders took part in the activity, highlighting the importance of participation in environmental education to reduce adverse environmental impacts. 

An initiative led by the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Vice Ministry of Environment, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Forest Management and young participants was the parade in defence of the environment in September 2021, held on National Youth Day. The objective was to disseminate environmental awareness, ecological knowledge, develop aptitudes on the environmental, and instil environmentally conscious values. Environmental protection brochures were distributed at the event. 

Since 2009, policies such as the National Strategy of Education and Communication for Climate Change (2009) have been seeking to raise awareness on climate change adaptation and mitigation. This includes a focus on learning and action among the Bolivian population, including training the education community, such as teachers, educational authorities and organizations, and students. 

The Department of Dissemination and Environmental Education of the Biodiversity and Environment Research implements different initiatives to promote awareness and pro-environment attitudes. People are invited to participate in campaigns related to topics such as forest conservation, water and climate change through their media outlets, including social media. The centre hosts environmental exhibitions locally and in other places. The centre has a museum that aims at improving environmental awareness and knowledge. 

With a strong focus on raising awareness, the Bolivian Platform Against Climate Change supports diverse initiatives in the country. The platform has cooperated in national campaigns such as Your Plate, your Planet, which implemented various activities to sensitize people about the importance of consuming sustainable food to benefit people’s health and to contribute to sustainability. The platform has also supported and implemented international campaigns such as Claim the Power and the Energy, which encourages people to be aware of energy projects that can be detrimental to local regions and degrade the environment.

II) Climate change and public access to information

The website of the Ministry of Environment and Water covers a range of diverse information, including organizational aspects, legal frameworks, statistics, technical information such as meteorological data, and climate change. In keeping with its commitment to transparency, the website facilitates an information request section, where people can request data that outlines the ministry’s work. 

Different authorities in Bolivia have social media accounts. For example, the Ministry of Environment and Water has accounts on the Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube platforms. There are regular posts covering national news, workshops, public participation initiatives, the use of natural resources, forestation, environmental conservation and climate change awareness raising. 

The Plurinational Authority for Mother Earth plays an important role in enabling public access to information. The authority’s website provides climate change information on the national situation, relevant events, national-international cooperation, financing, planning and legislation, and important publications such as the Nationally Determined Contribution (2021-2030) documents. 

The Biodiversity and Environment Research website is a major resource for environmental information, including climate change data. It includes the book Climate Change: A Global Challenge, which was developed and produced by the centre and includes general information about climate change, key indicators, and how to be prepared for this global crisis and address it. The centre also has a virtual library that collects and systematizes information on topics such as flora, fauna, climate change, waste, pollution, natural resources, environmental management and conservation. The library has a building that people can visit and which offers more than 500 documents in physical and digital formats that are available to visitors free of charge. In addition, the research has accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube that keep users informed about the status of the national environmental and that include posts on awareness-raising, public communication campaigns and climate change.

According to the Nationally Determined Contribution (2021-2030), the Bolivian Government works on strengthening capacities in the country to create and manage information on climate change that is used in decision-making processes. The government promotes the undertaking of basic and applied research to create adaptation and mitigation solutions. This information is generated to benefit the majority of the country’s sectors, including policymakers, and the rural, health, agricultural and education sectors to enhance overall responses to climate change.

III) Climate change and public participation

Public participation in environmental management has been guaranteed by the Environment Law (1992), empowering citizens to actively intervene in the conservation of the environment. Chapter 10 of the law focuses on citizen participation, stating that people have the right to be informed about environmental protection affairs, to formulate petitions and to promote new initiatives to the competent authority. The constitution reinforces the importance of public participation in environmental affairs in various articles, such as article 352, which states:

“The exploitation of natural resources in a given territory will be subject to a consultation process with the affected population, convened by the State, which will be free, prior and informed. Public Participation is guaranteed in the environmental management process and the conservation of ecosystems will be promoted, in accordance with the Constitution and the law. In the nations, and native Indigenous peasants, the consultation will take place respecting their own rules and procedures.”

The Ministry of Environment and Water also emphasizes the role of public consultations through the Administrative Resolution VMABCCGDF 57/20 (2020), which approved complementing the methodology of the Public Consultation for Studies of Environmental Impact Assessment established in the Supreme Decree No. 3549 (2018). 

The Law of Participation and Social Control (Law 341, 2013) reinforced the right of the Bolivian population to participate in public management, including in the formulation of policies and decision-making processes. The law highlights the importance of participation in environmental management and consultation processes in relation to decisions that can affect the environment and its conservation.

Among the specific attributions of the Vice Ministry of Environment, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Forest Management is the development of policies that promote social participation in environmental affairs. Further, with the participation of Indigenous people, the Vice Ministry formulates strategies and policies for evaluating forest resources, the determination of concession areas and the approval of areas in which there will be public activities. 

The Ministry of Environment and Water includes citizen participation initiatives through its new section on the website and social media, inviting people to participate on platforms such as consultations, accountability talks and environmental fairs. For instance, the ministry aimed to strengthen the participation process through the course on the Law of Participation and Social Control (Law 341, 2013). The ministry set up contest initiatives such as the environmental fair on World Environment Day, in which participants are invited to create TikTok videos based on environmental topics such as water, soil, air, climate change, waste, biodiversity and protected areas in the country. 

Public participation approaches are followed by the National Service of Protected Areas alongside the communities that live in the protected areas. For instance, in June 2023, Indigenous communities from the National Park Sajama held gatherings with the national director and park rangers from the National Service of Protected Areas to coordinate and plan projects that will strengthen their capacity to better preserve and conserve the protected area. 

There are also initiatives to encourage youth participation throughout the country. In 2019, gatherings were developed by the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Plurinational Authority for Mother Earth and other stakeholders. The gatherings focused on young participants in different municipalities generating proposals on how to face climate change. The activity aimed at selecting a group of young leaders that could bring the proposal to the Youth Negotiation Forum at COP 25. In the end, around 1,500 young people took part.

National documents on the climate usually go through a participatory process. For example, the Nationally Determined Contribution (2021-2030) went through three phases during its development. These included a review of previous documents, intersectional workshops to determine goals together with the Economic and Social Development Plan (2021-2025), and participatory exercises with different sectors to formulate goals and contributions.


I) Country monitoring

The National Institute of Statistics collects and monitors information on national education issues, such as of the rate of illiteracy, the average rate for the number of years that students spend studying, and the attendance rate. Regarding climate change, the Institute includes environmental data such as temperature rise by cities, the air pollution rate, the precipitation rate, water and forest resources, solid waste, natural disasters, and environmental impact reports. However, at the time of writing, no completed monitoring on climate change education was available. 

According to the Nationally Determined Contribution (2021-2030), the government aims to track climate change interventions through the consolidation of a transparent and differentiated monitoring and evaluation and reporting system. The Plurinational System of Information and Comprehensive Monitoring of Mother Earth and Climate Change aims to ensure: i) the collection of intersectoral data; ii) the development of methodologies and protocols for the indicators for the Nationally Determined Contribution that are integrated into the Registration System of Monitoring and Evaluation Indicators; iii) the development of indicators to measure the parameters and processes outlined in the Nationally Determined Contribution, as well as indicators for mitigation and adaptation, and a mechanism for integrating all these; and iv) the generation of monitoring reports on the progress of the Nationally Determined Contribution at the national, sectoral and subnational levels. The Nationally Determined Contribution does not specifically mention whether the system will include the monitoring of climate change education and communication. 

The Registration System of Monitoring and Evaluation Indicators (RIME) is an informative platform for registering and monitoring and evaluating socio-economic and environmental indicators. These indicators are generated by censuses, surveys and administrative records collected by public and private institutions. The information is validated and analysed by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) and the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit (UDAPE). The system has also worked on data sources and indicators aligned with economic and social development plans as well as the Sustainable Development Goals SDG 2015-2030. Further public information from the platform’s indicators could not be accessed at the time that this report was being finalized.  

Under the Resilient Andes to Climate Change’ actions project, training workshops for the establishment of the monitoring and reporting system of the Nationally Determined Contribution’s goals were held in June 2023, with the aim of building capacity for the Enhanced Transparency Framework. Around 48 personnel from across the environmental sector participated. This is linked to mandatory reporting related to the UNFCCC, such as the Biennial Update Reports, which must be presented by the end of 2024. 

According to the Sustainable Development Report (2022), Bolivia showed that it was ‘moderately improving’ in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Quality Education (SDG 4) and Climate Action (SDG 13), but still faced a number of challenges. The report does not specify the score on target (4.7) on education for sustainable development, and on target (13.3) on climate education.

The Forest Information and Monitoring System initiative, which is closely linked to climate change issues, was developed by the General Directorate of Forest Management and Development of the Vice Ministry of Environment, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Forest Management. The system carries out continuous monitoring of the status of national forest resources, generating information on deforestation, heat zones, forest fires, afforestation and reforestation. The system generates daily, monthly and annual reports that inform and support coordinated preventive actions.

II) MECCE Project Monitoring

The Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) Project reviews the 6th Grade Curriculum for primary school and the 5th Grade Curriculum for secondary school, both documents from Learning Texts 2023-2024, for references to ‘climate change’, ‘sustainability’, ‘biodiversity’, and the ‘environment.’

The 6th Grade Curriculum for primary school mentions the term ‘climate change’ four times. The term ‘environment’ is included 23 times, ‘sustainability’ is mentioned 16 times, and ‘biodiversity’ 33 times.

The 5th Grade Curriculum for secondary school includes the term ‘climate change’ four times. The term ‘environment’ is found 20 times, ‘sustainability’ is included 10 times, and ‘biodiversity’ 5 times. 

This section will be updated as the MECCE Project develops.

This profile was reviewed by: 

Dr. Emilio Garcia Apaza, Lecturer at Universidad Mayor de San Andres, Bolivia