The contacted Ayoreo-Totobiegosode have been engaged in a legal battle for their traditional homelands for nearly 30 years, and although Paraguay designated this region as a protected area in 2001, several cattle-ranching companies have obtained land titles within the region, with deforestation continuing.
Demand for wood from ipê trees in the Amazon Basin could lead to their extinction if better international trade regulations aren’t implemented soon, according to a new report from Forest Trends. Ipê hardwood is in high demand in the luxury timber market, especially for outdoor boardwalks, decks and furniture, as well as hardwood floors.
The forests of the Gran Chaco in Paraguay, home of one of the world’s last uncontacted Indigenous nations, continue to be the target of illegal deforestation linked to luxury automakers such as BMW and Jaguar Land Rover.
Two of three Paraguayan leather exporters shown to be buying hides from cattle grazed in illegally deforested parts of the Gran Chaco have increased their sales to Europe since the issue came to light in September 2020.
Paraguay’s level of deforestation is outpacing some of its much larger neighbors – especially in the destruction of protected land. At least 5,000 hectares of federally protected land in national parks have been destroyed by illegal deforestation in the past two years, Cristina Goralewski, president of the National Forest Institute (Instituto Forestal Nacional – Infona), told Paraguayan media.
A recent analysis by the Zoological Society of London found that over half of the 100 most significant tropical timber and pulp companies do not publicly commit to protecting biodiversity and only 44% have yet to publicly commit to zero deforestation. As of 2021, forests still cover about 31% of the world’s land area, but they are disappearing at an alarming rate. Since 1990, the world lost 1.3 million sq km of forest due to deforestation for land uses and commercial agriculture.