Paraguay extends deforestation law that has cut forest loss by 85%
December 20, 2006
The government of Paraguay has extended a law has helped deforestation rates in the Upper Parana Atlantic Forest by more than 85 percent according to environmental group WWF.
The “Zero Deforestation Law” — which came into force in December 2004 — has been extended through December 2008.
WWF notes that since the law went into effect, deforestation rates in the Upper Parana Atlantic Forest have fallen from 88,000—170,000 hectares annually to 16,700 hectares annually. The Upper Parana Atlantic Forest is part of the 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.
Image courtesy of Google Earth
WWF says that Paraguay has achieved the cut in deforestation rates without cutting 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.
Paraguay has more than 18 million hectares of tropical forest but less than 4 percent of the country’s land surface is under some form of protection. The country has some 1,084 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles, and at least 7,851 species of vascular plants. Paraguay is also home to part of the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal.
This article is based on a news release from WWF and past mongabay.com articles.