Paraguay policies boost Gran Chaco deforestation


In 2004, Paraguayan politicians and civil-society groups agreed on legislation to prohibit land clearing in the country’s Eastern Region, the 160,000-square-kilometer (61,800-sq-mile) portion of Paraguay east of the Paraguay River—an area that amounts to 39% of the national territory. And small wonder. Consisting mostly of fertile plain, the temperate region is home to 97% of the country’s population, the vast majority of its economic activity—and, thanks to relentless expansion of large-scale agriculture, one of the world’s highest deforestation rates in recent decades. Of the nine million hectares (34,700 square miles) of native forest existing in the region in 1950, only 1.3 million hectares (5,000 sq miles) remained by 2004, says the international environmental group WWF. The forest... [Log in to read more]

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