Blog Home//Closing Data Gaps to Eliminate Deforestation and Land Disputes from Beef Supply Chains in Paraguay
Posted on November 2, 2017
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Closing Data Gaps to Eliminate Deforestation and Land Disputes from Beef Supply Chains in Paraguay

Posted on November 2, 2017
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GFW newsletter

By  Peter Veit and Ryan Sarsfield

Cows in the Paraguayan Chaco. Flickr/Arcadius.

In the last 15 years, Paraguay lost a greater share of its forest than almost any other country on Earth. While soy farming once drove deforestation in the east, the focus of Paraguay’s forest loss has since moved west to the low-lying, thorn-forested Chaco, where cattle ranching has claimed over 3.7 million hectares (9 million acres) of forest for pastureland – an area about the size of the Netherlands – between 2001 and 2015. The trends in Paraguay are reflected globally, as agriculture expands its footprint at the expense of Indigenous Peoples and forests. Companies around the world, especially those linked to major drivers of deforestation, face increasing pressure to address environmental and social risks in their supply chains, and many have already made zero deforestation and zero land grabbing commitments. Yet few global beef companies have adopted basic sourcing criteria or global, time-bound commitments to curb deforestation and to protect indigenous land rights. The Paraguayan beef industry encounters little economic pressure to stop clearing forests and respect land rights because it exports to lower-value markets that impose few limits on imports beyond sanitary controls, like foot and mouth disease regulations. None of the export destinations insist on farm boundaries. Chile, for example, only requires documentation of the corral location.

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