Paraguayan case buoys forest-enforcement hopes


Some of the cleared Chaco land cited in the deforestation case. (Photo courtesy of IDEA)

When Paraguayan authorities have pursued illegal deforestation cases, experts say, the resulting penalties, if they are enforced at all, too often do not punish the property owner directly or require restoration of the wrongfully cleared land. There are signs that this state of affairs might be changing. Environmental advocates point in particular to a recent settlement in which a ranch owner agreed to ensure reforestation of 1,800 hectares (4,448 acres) of illegally cleared woodland in the country’s arid Chaco region. The rancher, Antonio Scavone Oddone, also pledged to purchase 200 environmental certificates to offset the loss of the former woodland’s ecosystem services, at an estimated cost of US$87,000 to $100,000. Scavone, owner of the Dasca ranching operation, signed the settlement in July with the prosecutor in the case, which was being heard in a national court located in the remote Chaco town of Mariscal Estigarribia. “There has almost always... [Log in to read more]

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