Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Ongoing Crisis in the Chaco

22 January, 2010 - 15:22 -- John Burton

The problems continue in the Chaco of Paraguay. Deforestation continues, and our partners are seriously under-resourced.

Yesterday I had a letter from Jose Luis Casaccia, the former Minister of the Environment of Paraguay, thanking the World Land Trust for organising a visit to England last year, when he was able to give a presentation to members of parliament, in the House of Commons. But despite all the publicity, deforestation continues.

The three National Parks that the WLT is helping to protect, together with the Ministry of Environment and our local NGO partner, Guyra Paraguay, cover an area of two and a half million acres -- that's the size of East Anglia. And we can only afford to fund five rangers. Surely someone reading this blog could find $5000 so that we can hire one more? And another, and another.

Sitting on my desk is a copy of Zoo Quest in Paraguay, with a youthful David Attenborough on the cover. Published in 1959, at that time the Chaco was almost completely undisturbed -- in fact Sir David barely got into the Chaco, and it was still populated by several thousand Indians totally isolated from the world.

Since then roads have crisscrossed the forests, most of the Indians have been contacted by missionaries, and oil prospectors have marched in. It's a fragile habitat, and we must do something to conserve it. So if any of my readers can find a sponsor, it really will make a difference.

Learn more:
Deforestation in Paraguay: Over 1500 football pitches lost a day in the Chaco
Death of the Chaco


Submitted by the_scribbler on

John – it's not a lost cause. We can find ways to fund the efforts and we will find people who value the effort, who have sufficient vision to know that it has to be done. Don't lose hope. You've already worked miracles with what you've done and those who know trust that you'll work more.


Submitted by John Burton on

Thanks for the support. But the proof of the pudding is….etc.

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