with all its lungs, Paraguay is breathing

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A Todo Pulmón - Paraguay Respira
© WWF Paraguay

What is the campaign about?

From 1995 to 2001 WWF brought together government agencies and non-governmental organizations from Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina, along with higher education and research institutions to create the Tri-national Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest. This initiative was aimed at creating a biological corridor to ensure conservation of biodiversity and environmental services throughout this shared Eco-region. To contribute to the planning of such a corridor, WWF coordinated a multi-disciplinary study in the three countries entitled “A Biodiversity Vision for the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest Eco-region”. This vision presented a diagnosis of the current situation and proposed a set of actions to be implemented for the conservation of what remains of the forest, restoring the quality of the landscape and environmental services, and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources. Therefore WWF in Paraguay has started the process of restoration in 2001. In 2007 the campaign call: “Restoring the Atlantic Forest” was launch with the Moises Bertoni Foundation.  In year 2009 this campaign become part of a new campaign call “A todo Pulmon - Paraguay Respira”

In an unprecedented initiative, the A Todo Pulmon campaign aims to plant 14 million trees over a region of roughly fifteen thousand hectares. This is an area nearly the same size of Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. Eighty-five percent of the trees will be planted in the Upper Parana region of the Atlantic Forest, an area in critical condition. The remaining fifteen percent of the trees will be planted in urban areas, parks, plazas and avenues.

The campaign is an initiative by the Director of the Ñanduti Radio Station, and it is supported by all sectors of Paraguayan society. Every citizen of Paraguay is invited to help in the reforestation of the Eastern region of the country, the biodiversity hotspot of the Atlantic Forest.

To achieve our objective, we are working with environmental organizations, government entities and non-governmental organizations, local and international organizations, and Paraguayan citizens. The best scientists and technicians in our country have given us the support necessary to achieve our objective.
 

Why is it important to reforest?

 / ©: WWF
Arborización
© WWF

At one time, the Upper Parana Atlantic Forest covered almost nine million hectares of eastern Paraguay. This amazing ecosystem suffered during years of uncontrolled deforestation. For years, Paraguay had the highest rate of deforestation in the Americas, and the second highest rate of deforestation in the world, destroying approximately one hundred and thirty thousand hectares of forest annually.

Thanks to the hard work of citizens, and the effectiveness of the Zero Deforestation Law, deforestation has been drastically lowered to a rate of only eight thousand hectares per year. But the damage has been done, and there are only approximately one million three hundred thousand hectares left of the original nine million.

The remaining hectares of forest are highly fragmented, making it very difficult for vegetation and wildlife to flourish. It is essential to restore this precious ecosystem, to create biological corridors for forest and animal species to move from one section to another. This will increase genetic diversity within species, and ensure the survival of Paraguay’s unique flora and fauna.

The reforestation of this essential part of the Atlantic Forest will contribute to the mitigation of climate change and will improve environmental consciousness within the country. 

What are the benefits to the country?

 / ©: Fernando Allen for WWF Paraguay
Distrito Alto Verá, Serranía San Rafael, Itapúa, Paraguay
© Fernando Allen for WWF Paraguay

Paraguay will restore one of the most bio diverse  eco-regions in the world, while improving the quality of the environment and daily life. Reforestation will:

• Conserve and protect the Guarani Aquifer, one of the largest fresh-water reserves left in the world.
• Protect endemic flora and fauna
• Maintain traditional cultures
• Improve overall fertility of the soil
• Create possibilities for land-owners to trade carbon credits

The Upper Parana Atlantic Forest

 / ©: WWF Paraguay
Campaña Reforestemos el Bosque Atlántico del Alto Paraná
© WWF Paraguay

The Upper Parana Atlantic Forest covers most of the Eastern region of Paraguay. It is considered to be one of the two hundred most important eco-regions on the planet, due to its rich biodiversity. The region is home to the Guarani Aquifer, one of the most valuable fresh-water reserves on earth, as well as numerous endemic species. The Atlantic Forest is home to:

• 19 Endemic Bird Species
• 22 Endemic Primates
• 160 Endemic Mammals
• 253 Endemic Amphibians
• 6000 Endemic Plants
• Umbrella species such as jaguars, tapirs and pumas

Biological Corridors Corredores biológicos

Corridors are connections between separated sections of forest. When individuals of a single species become isolated, genetic problems become predominant, and can threaten the survival of the species. Biological corridors contribute to the growth and strength of a species, and are therefore essential to preserving Paraguay’s unique wildlife. Restoring corridors will help to conserve the region’s biodiversity.   

 

  •  / ©: A todo Pulmón - Paraguay respira

     

  •  / ©: WWF Paraguay
  •  / ©: Fernando Allen
  •  / ©: WWF
  • Reforestation, Paraguay / ©: Cinthya Arias for WWF Paraguay
  •  / ©: Radio Ñanduti 1020 AM

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