Bolivia will host the Dakar Rally for the fourth time in a row. This version will have six stages plus a rest day on Bolivian soil. Thus, Tupiza, Oruro, La Paz and Uyuni will host the competition.
However, the realization of this race worries different environmental groups due to the serious ecological damage that they anticipate will cause the passage of competing vehicles.
Increase in pollution levels due to the emission of polluting gases from machines, a large amount of garbage generated by competitors and the public, as well as the deterioration of archaeological preservation areas are some of the points that are of greatest concern.
"The high traffic is going to be polluting, the noise pollution and the solid waste generated by the massive groups that attend the competition in those days will be high, in addition there are fears the deterioration of archaeological preservation areas", warns Jhon Zambrana, president of the Cochabambino Forum on Environment and Development (Focomade), in La Prensa.
Meanwhile, Carmen Ledo, researcher and director of the Planning Center of the Universidad Mayor de San Simón (Ceplac), called for the virgin areas to be respected. "There are wonders of humanity such as the Salar de Uyuni, the lagoons and the large number of llamas that escape the noise. It is good to promote tourism, but we must also protect virgin areas that have not been visited," he said.
To reduce the impact of the Rally, the Government has arranged "La Huella Dakar", as well as troops to protect the heritage sites, as well as a series of compensation measures for the communities that are part of the route.
It should be remembered that in previous versions other sites in South America have been affected by the passage of this competition. The Ocucaje Desert in Peru, the Atacama Desert in Chile and the Los Cardones National Park, in Salta, Argentina, among other important places.
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