The Paraguay Forest Conservation Project
Paraguay – La Amistad Community, San Rafael
Validated Conformance with the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards 2nd Ed., Gold Level for exceptional biodiversity benefits: December 6th, 2010 (RA-VAL-CCB-013864).
This 20-year project aims to recruit private landowners from the recently established smallholder community of La Amistad to set up and manage a sustainably-operated community forest reserve and a direct payment for ecosystem services scheme. The project’s goals include improving the livelihoods of community members, enabling the sustainable use of forest resources and alleviating pressures on the surrounding forest caused by subsistence agriculture activities. Ultimately, the project aims to reduce deforestation in the project area, where 52% of the forest has been cut down over the past 12 years.
The proposed community forest reserve is located in Paraguay’s San Rafael region, home to Paraguay’s most extensive tracts of the highly-threatened Atlantic Forest ecosystem and dozens of threatened or vulnerable animal and plant species. The region has also been designated as an Important Bird Area, as it provides habitat for many endemic Atlantic Forest bird species. In part due to the benefits the project confers on the San Rafael region’s rich and threatened biodiversity, it has been awarded “Gold Level for exceptional biodiversity benefits” validation to the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards.