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Protecting the Atlantic Rainforest: more help needed following arson attack

7 November, 2012 - 11:32 -- World Land Trust
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Arson attack on Guyra Paraguay building

In October the conservation world was shaken by the news that Guyra Paraguay's buildings in the San Rafael Reserve were subject to an arson attack in what was thought to be an act of intimidation by illegal loggers.

The attack was on part of the Kangüery administration centre in the Guyra Reta Reserve which is part of the larger San Rafael Reserve, in the heart of the Atlantic Rainforest. Although no-one was harmed, the rangers were badly shaken and the building reduced to charred remains within a matter of minutes. The rebuild will cost US$45,000. Guyra Paraguay has received messages of condolence from all over the world which has helped them deal more positively with this devastating setback, but so far no real offer of financial support has been forthcoming.

Guyra's Executive Director, Alberto Yanosky commented: "It is very reassuring to know of everyone’s concern and good wishes but it is disappointing that we have not received any message from the Paraguayan Ministry of the Environment. This is a National Park but at present the only true conservation support comes from a few institutions such as the World Land Trust."

The good news is that the Ministry of the Interior has assigned two policemen to help protect the San Rafael Reserve and this made the rangers feel more secure in the face of recent intimidation. Patrolling has been strengthened and the situation now feels more under control. Guyra Paraguay is very grateful for this gesture of support from the Ministry of the Interior.

WLT raises funds for Guyra Paraguay

Simon Barnes regularly features WLT and its overseas projects in his columns in the Times and as someone who has visited WLT-funded reserves in Paraguay he has a strong affinity for the country, Guyra Paraguay as an organisation, and its director, Alberto Yanosky. He was appalled by the act of vandalism that devastated their property and suggested that his readers may wish to help with the rebuilding costs. So far WLT has received nearly £2,500 and this will be sent in its entirety to Guyra Paraguay.

If anyone else would like to help you can do so by sending a donation (payable to WLT) to: San Rafael Appeal, World Land Trust, Blyth House, Bridge Street, Halesworth, IP19 8AB, UK. You can also make a donation online, to the WLT Action Fund marking in the Comments box that this is a donation for San Rafael.

 

Biological Station before the fire
Biological Station after the fire

Please help Guyra Paraguay restore this building at the Kangüery Biological Station in San Rafael. Thank you.

 

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Comments

Submitted by John Burton on

Having stayed in this particular building only a few weeks ago when on a short visit to Paraguay, I can only say how devastating this must be. I recorded interviews with the Rangers -- an amazingly enthusiastic and dedicated group. The WLT has also offered to help fund security cameras, and an alarm system to protect the site from future intruders. As might be expected, it is only a very small number of illegal loggers involved -- the surrounding communities are very supportive of the work of he WLT's partner, Guyra Paraguay. But these risks are there, in remote but important parts of the world

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