Forest loss in Paraguay: ecocide and genocide

Paraguay has lost millions hectares with GM soya considered to be a major driver.

The impacts include biodiversity loss, including many species found nowhere else, and displacement of indigenous peoples, some not previously contacted, plus impacts on soils and water, regional and local climate change and changes in rainfall.

This is shortsighted destruction driven by short-term profits. And it is criminal – ecocide and genocide rolled into one.

Indigenous communities have been displaced and reduced to living on the capital’s rubbish dumps. This is a crime that we can rightly call genocide – the extinguishment of entire Peoples, their culture, their way of life and their environment.

“Genetically modified organisms and pesticides on the table mean more exclusion, more misery, more needless deaths, more dependence on multinational corporations and more humiliation for Paraguay,” notes the National Coordinator of Rural and Indigenous Women Workers (CONAMURI).

Recently  a scientific study has revealed that Paraguay’s Chaco forest – the last refuge of the uncontacted Ayoreo tribe  – is being devastated by the world’s highest rate of deforestation –  ecocide.

The study by the University of Maryland found that Paraguay’s Chaco woodlands (…) are experiencing rapid deforestation in the development of cattle ranches. The result is the highest rate of deforestation in the world.

In an urgent appeal to the UN’s Special Rapporteur for indigenous peoples, James Anaya, the Ayoreo organization OPIT said, ’(For the Ayoreo and their uncontacted relatives), protecting the forest and their territories constitutes life itself.

Stephen Corry, Director of Survival International, said, ‘For how much longer will Paraguay boast two UNESCO biosphere reserves? With the world’s highest rate of deforestation, the Chaco won’t last forever: with it, the country’s only uncontacted tribe will be obliterated.

Gustavo Carrasquel | ANCA24