Northeastern Bolivia has extensive areas of natural grasslands where cattle thrive with practically no care needed. A handful of very wealthy families own these areas, most of whom don’t even know how much cattle they have.
What they do know is that they have a great deal of political power. This is one reason why the Bolivian government recognizes fifty hectares per head of cattle for land titling, as opposed to just ten for a family. Many men yearn to become cattle ranchers, imitating the macho image of the US “cowboy”.
Raising cattle in the natural grasslands did not do any damage to these lands, butthese are already owned, so the new prospective “ranchers” have taken to burning rainforest to create their ranches.
Millions of hectares of primary forest are being burned with this goal in mind. The rewards of having this land titled (whereas conserving it is punished by the government) only encourages more burning of this treasure.