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People & Power
Bolivia's thirst for change
A look at Evo Morales' struggle to reconcile environmental goals with economic development.
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2010 11:54 GMT

 

World politicians are meeting in Cancun, Mexico, this week to have another go at tackling global warming. The last round of talks in Copenhagen one year ago collapsed in acrimony and without agreement on extending the Kyoto Protocol on climate change which is due to run out in 2012.

Evo Morales, Bolivia's president, is among the attendees again this year. He came to power in 2005 with a plan to empower his country's indigenous and poor communities by nationalising natural resources to protect them from exploitation by private companies.
 
Internationally he has been a controversial figure allying himself with Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, and often opposing the policies of Western governments, particularly the US.

Earlier this year, in a challenge to Western dominance, his government organised an alternative climate summit, in response to the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen conference.
 
The aim of the gathering was unashamedly ambitious - to save "Mother Earth" or "Pachamama" as indigenous Bolivians call the planet. 
 
But as filmmaker Rodrigo Vasquez discovered when given rare behind-the-scenes access to the conference, Morales may yet struggle to reconcile his environmental goals with the nation's pressing need for economic development. 

This episode of People & Power can be seen from Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 0600, 1230; Thursday: 0130, 1400, 1930; Friday: 0630, 1630; Saturday: 0330, 2030; Sunday: 0030, 0530; Monday: 0830.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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