Paraguay extends zero deforestation law, aims to cut agricultural emissions
October 10, 2008
The move will extend the South American country's Zero Deforestation Law through December 2013. The legislation has been credited for an 85 percent drop in the annual deforestation rate of the Upper Parana Atlantic Forest, a biologically rich ecosystem that has been reduced by 95 percent in some its of range due to agriculture, especially for soybeans and cattle ranching.
WWF says that Paraguay has achieved the cut in its deforestation rate without diminishing agricultural production. Soybean production actually increased in spite of the law, from 3.5 million tons in the 2003—04 season to a likely 4.2 million tons for the 2005—06 season.
Dr José Luis Casaccia, Paraguay's Minister of Environment, said the moratorium on deforestation would be extended "until each state has created a land-use plan showing how they will contribute to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions at a national scale by 2020."
According to WWF, Casaccia also unveiled other environmental initiatives, including "establishing credible and transparent systems to measure, report and verify how much carbon is stored under different land uses, and promoting mechanisms that complement the country’s Payment for Environmental Services Law, integrating them in the national poverty alleviation strategy."