Gran Chaco Region: 89,833 acres of forest destroyed in January 2015 SEARCH NEWS


By John Burton, WLT Founder CEO

I am reproducing in my blog today, verbatim the latest from Paraguay. It needs no comment from me, other than to say, it is disasters like these that demonstrate why the demand for cheap meat is so devastating. We urge everyone not only to sign up to Meat Free Week, but also to seriously consider the issues that are driving deforestation in South America.

The Gran Chaco Region of South America suffered a deforestation of 36,355 hectares during January 2015.

The rate of deforestation of the Gran Chaco Region during January 2015, at 36,355 hectares, was considerably lower than the figure of 53,283 hectares in December 2014. This represented a deforestation rate of 1,173 hectares per day, compared with 1,719 hectares per day in December. By way of comparison, the loss of 36,355 hectares of Chaco forest is equivalent to an area 3.2 times that of the city of Asunción and more than 1.8 times that of the city of Buenos Aires.

Paraguay accounted for the largest share of the 36,355 hectares of woodlands that was converted to agricultural and other uses in January 2015, with 52% of the total deforested area, followed by Argentina with 34% and Bolivia with 14%. In the specific case of Paraguay, the rate of deforestation was 607 hectares per day, compared with 400 hectares per day for Argentina, and 166 hectares per day for Bolivia.

The three locations in the Gran Chaco that experienced the greatest changes of land use were as follows: in Paraguay, the district of Mariscal Estigarribia in the Department of Boquerón (13,112 hectares); in Argentina, the Department of Almirante Brown in the Chaco Province (2,433 hectares); and in Bolivia, Pailón in the Department of Santa Cruz (2,280 hectares). The geographical distribution of the deforestation of the Gran Chaco is available, disaggregated by municipality.

Through the Modis satellite imaging that monitors waters in the basins and alluvial flood plains, it was possible to discern a notable decrease in the area under water in general terms in January in the combined water systems of the Gran Chaco, which covered a total of 2,438,141 hectares, considerably less than the 3,016,136 hectares under water in December 2015. It is important to note that because these images are made to a spatial resolution of 250 metres, there may well be smaller bodies of water that have gone unregistered.

From 1st to 31st January a total of 7,122 heat focuses were identified in the four countries of the Gran Chaco region (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay), representing a significant decrease from the 10,110 heat focuses detected during December 2015. Some 73% of the total heat focuses were detected in Paraguay and 18% in Argentina.

This information can be visualised on the Geoportal, Carto Chaco Also, accompanying this report is a file in Google Earth format, which enables the reader to make a more detailed geographical examination. The Google Earth TM platform can be obtained free of charge.

Guyra Paraguay cannot judge the legality of the change of use of the areas of land identified. This information will be soon available on the website of Guyra Paraguay (

For more information or if you are unable to open the accompanying file, please contact the Geoprocesamiento team at the following address: [email protected]

Guyra Paraguay also has these files available in PDF format and will also upload the files in Google Earth format to the website of Amigos de Guyra Paraguay.

Guyra Paraguay thanks the Iniciativa Redes Chaco – AVINA & Alianza Ecosistemas – for their technical and financial support.

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