Saving threatened habitats worldwide

New website appeal: Defending the Chaco in Paraguay

19 August, 2010 - 12:20 -- World Land Trust

World Land Trust (WLT) has launched the ‘Defending the Chaco’ appeal on the WLT website in a bid to help reverse the devastation to the Paraguayan Dry Chaco. 

Dry Chaco habitat

Aerial shot of Defensores del Chaco which is in urgent need of protection. Photo © José Luis Cartes

WLT signed a Tri-partite Agreement with Paraguayan partner organisation Guyra Paraguay and the Ministry of the Environment, SEAM in 2008, which heralded the start of a 10 Year Plan to protect over 2.5 million acres of critical habitat over three Protected Areas in northern Paraguay: Defensores del Chaco National Park, Cerro Chovoreca Natural Monument and Río Negro National Park.  Through this agreement, WLT committed to raise funds and highlight the critical need for conservation measures to be put in place, and associated activities initiated. Over the next two years the project priority will be the effective management of Defensores del Chaco National Park which is located in the heart of the Chaco and a vital example of Dry Chaco habitat. This is the largest Protected Area in Paraguay, covering nearly 2 million acres of important habitat with an incredibly diverse and important range of wildlife. 

Defensores del Chaco sign and park rangers

The park rangers who are responsible for the protection of this vast area

As well as developing the Management Plan for Defensores del Chaco National Park, Guyra Paraguay is also working on the Río Negro National Park Management Plan and reviewing and updating the Site Conservation Plan for Chovoreca Natural Monument.  Without protection this National Park and its wildlife will suffer as a result of poaching and loss of habitat through encroachment by neighbouring cattle ranchers. The results could have devastating consequences for the wildlife and one of the first steps is to raise funds to be able to employ more Park Rangers.  As a first measure WLT has already allocated funds specifically for the Park Rangers and this has already made a difference on the ground. Part of the success so far includes training Park Rangers from Defensores del Chaco National Park in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and systems for monitoring. But more rangers and vehicles are urgently needed so that effective protection can be guaranteed. 

More Information and how you can help

Read the details of the project on the ‘Defending the Chaco’ appeal page.  Donate to defending the Chaco appeal.

Comments

Submitted by Chris Redston on

I’m very happy to help with this appeal. It seems to me that ‘protected land’ is only really protected from poachers, ranchers and loggers if local people are employed to protect it. This not only gives local people work, but also helps encourage the local communities to look after the land – and of course, the wildlife benefits too.
I’d be interested to know how much it costs to pay a ranger’s salary in the Chaco per year. Perhaps the WLT would consider launching a ‘sponsor a ranger’ appeal, whereby people are encouraged to pay the wages of one ranger for a year. This might encourage more donors, as people like to know exactly what the money they’re giving is buying (which is one of the WLT’s strengths).
I urge you to support this campaign and donate today.

Submitted by Charlotte Beckham on

Chris, thank you for your positive comment.

We agree rangers and resources are vital to ensure continued protection of reserves and protected areas, and we are hoping to focus on funds for rangers in the future. You may also be interested that the WLT team in this year’s Royal parks half marathon is raising funds for a ranger’s salary in Brazil and you can find further details about this on our events page.
http://www.worldlandtrust.org/news/events.htm

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