The Paraguay Forest Conservation Project
Paraguay – La Amistad Community, San Rafael
Rainforest Alliance Evaluation:
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 system for ecosystem services. The project’s goals include improving the livelihoods of community members, enabling the sustainable use of forest resources and alleviating the pressures that subsistence agriculture is placing on the surrounding forest. Ultimately, the project aims to reduce deforestation in an area where 52 percent 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, because it provides habitat for many endemic Atlantic Forest bird species. Due in part to the benefits the project confers on the San Rafael region’s rich and threatened biodiversity, it has been awarded the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards’ “Gold Level” validation, for exceptional biodiversity benefits.