SILKE KIRCHHOFF | FOTOGRAFIE
A daily life documentary of the indigenous communities on the banks of the Beni River | 2019
The Beni River in the Bolivian lowlands is part of the Amazon rainforest. People in this area live in peaceful communities with the river and the rainforest. They are used to migrate within the area, the Beni River and its tributaries. They are used to self-governing.
Belonging to the ethnic groups of Tacana, T'simane and Mozeten, they make a living of gathering and fishing. In addition, they operate successfully ecotourism in the National Park of Madidi and Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve.
But the whole area is critically endangered by four planned mega hydroelectric plants in the Amazon area. Two of them in immediate proximity ('Bala' and 'Chepete') on the Beni River. A territory of 779 square kilometers, inhabited by these indigenous communities, will be flooded.
The dams will affect their habitat, nature and biodiversity, their personal and economical livelihood, their whole life. 200.000 hectares of rainforest will disappear and up to 8000 people in the Amazon area have to be resettled. To dam the river inevitably leads to a standstill of the life cycle in this area. Moreover, the profitability of the planned sold energy is highly questioned.
Mother Earth is already being exploited in 11 of 22 Bolivian Nature Reserves.