Since Bolivia is an under-developed country it has left most of its lands as they have been before recorded history. But, within the last twenty years, due to a growing population and other economic factors, there has been a tide of emigration and development from the highlands to the tropical lowlands in search of land and a brighter future. This has created a lot of development in once virgin areas in the tropics and put pressure in other similar areas that used to be vast wilderness.
Within the last twenty years the evolution of an environmental consciousness has arisen and the cataloging and protection of biologically diverse regions has taken place. Scientists and environmental groups worldwide have recognized that Bolivia has some of the most biologically diverse regions in the world. Within its borders lie the Andes Mountains, the vast Altiplano plateau, Lake Titicaca, the Salar de Uyuni (the world’s largest salt flat), virgin cloud forests in the Yungas, semi-tropical and tropical forests from the highland valleys to the eastern lowlands of the Amazon basin and the scrub forests and deserts of the Chaco in south-eastern Bolivia. All these regions have flora and fauna that live relatively undisturbed – and many that are not cataloged yet. There are about 30 national parks established in Bolivia.