“Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting for cooking a meal.” ~ E.O.Wilson, American Biologist
A close look at the rapid deforestation witnessed across the world is no surprise for environmentalist, naturalists, and biodiversity experts. What makes it even worse, is that despite their failure to stop it in the past, governments around the world are still acting in a slow-witted manner. However, multiple tribes of indigenous people, environmental conservation groups, and non-governmental organizations are preparing to fight against deforestation. To give you a better picture of the problem, let’s start with an overview of the deforestation crisis.
Alarming facts about deforestation in Paraguay
- Sixth highest deforestation rate: Paraguay comes at number six in terms of the highest rate of deforestation witnessed anywhere on the planet. Most of the damage happens in the Chaco forest.
- Losing 250,000 hectares of forest annually: The Chaco dry forest located in northwestern Paraguay loses over 250,000 hectares of forest cover every year.
- Chaco forests facing the same fate as the Atlantic forest: With a high rate of deforestation and limited government intervention, Chaco is likely to have a future similar to that of the Atlantic forest. It once covered a significant landmass in southeastern Paraguay. Out of its 9 million hectares of forest mass, the Atlantic forest lost over 93% of its forest cover before the government introduced zero-deforestation law in 2004.
- Deforestation made Indonesia the largest greenhouse gas emitter in 2015: Deforestation is not just a problem in Paraguay. Indonesia, one of the largest palm oil producers, surpassed the U.S in terms of its greenhouse gas emissions in 2015. This is primarily because of the large scale deforestation.
Indigenous tribes pay the highest price for deforestation
In addition to the damage to the local and global environment, indigenous people bear the maximum cost for this destruction. Xákmok Kásek community is one of the worst affected by deforestation. The entire community was displaced from its territory by ranching companies. This lead to extreme poverty and deaths during their period of exile. The good news is that the Paraguayan government has returned as much as 72% of its ancestral land to Xákmok Kásek community after 30 years of their forceful eviction. It is critical to note that Xákmok Kásek isn’t the only community endangered by deforestation. Ayoreo community is another tribe in Paraguay that stands at the verge of losing their natural lifestyle to deforestation.
Local people leading the protest against government policies on deforestation
The current rate of deforestation would consume the entire cover of the Chaco forest in about 24 years. Despite this alarming situation, the government has been slow in taking strict actions against unlawful tree-cutting operations. Facing a threat to their natural way of living, the indigenous people of the Chaco forest are working with NGOs and other nature preservation groups to preserve the forests.
One such initiative uses technology to track any illegal logging activities. The Forest Watcher application from Global Forest Watch is capable of tracking deforestation at any scale. In fact, if anyone cut even an area as big as the penalty box of a soccer field, Forest Watcher can identify the damage.
It is promising to find that more companies are coming together to become aware of their food supply chains. It ensures that their operations are permissible under the local regulations, without any deforestation or other damages to nature.
TreeCoin: Standing tall with the natives
TreeCoin is aware of the damages done to the natural resources of Paraguay. Our goal is to recover, if not reverse, some of these damages through the plantation of over 10 million trees. Therefore, TreeCoin is dedicated to creating a sustainable timber production ecosystem, along with strengthening the local economy. We believe that the only way forward is in harmony with nature and the native people.
If you are curious about our entire operation, visit this page to read more about TreeCoin.