France expresses its full solidarity with the Bolivian people and authorities in the face of the ongoing forest fires that began several weeks ago, especially in the Amazon, and stands with them in the fight against these wildfires.
A few days away from the COP28 in Dubai, these wildfires demonstrate once again the urgent need to take action to tackle the challenges of climate change and environmental threats, in particular regarding forests. As an Amazon country, France stands with its partners in the region.
The ongoing drought, severe heat, and distances involved make it difficult to fight these fires in Bolivia, with tragic consequences for the population and biodiversity.
The President of France has announced that in response to the appeal made by the Bolivian authorities to their partners, France will be providing support, primarily through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism.
An emergency services detachment specialized in fighting forest fires will arrive in Bolivia on Friday, November 24, 2023. It will be comprised of roughly 40 firefighters and fire rescue workers specialized in fighting forest fires who will be equipped with special technical gear designed for this type of fire. The French detachment will join local rescue services and intervene in two sections of the Santa Cruz department that the Bolivian authorities have identified as urgently needing assistance, especially in two places designated as protected areas.
This operation is being coordinated by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Center and the Department of Civil Security and Crisis Management of the Ministry of the Interior and Overseas France, together with the Embassy of France in Bolivia. This operation is part of the more long-term bilateral partnership that began in 2020 and focuses on prevention and skill sharing between our emergency service divisions.