The Atlantic Forest in Paraguay is an essential storehouse for biodiversity and has been classified as one of the World Wildlife Fund’s 2,000 eco-regions of global importance. But, it is under threat from rapidly expanding soy and beef production. Today soy and cultivated pastures cover approximately 1.3 hectares of land each and Paraguay has become the world´s fourth largest soy producer. The Government of Paraguay is determined to curb this trend by ensuring the nation’s beef and soy products are sustainable
To support this effort, the Green Commodities Programme has been providing assistance since 2014 to implement the National Sustainable Beef and Soy Platform as part of a wider Global Environment Facility and UNDP project "Paisajes de Producción Verde". This project is helping producers to change their practices, with the ultimate goal of taking deforestation out of soy and beef supply chains.
Through the Roundtable for Sustainable Finance, the project assists Paraguay’s major banks - responsible for over 80% of the agricultural and livestock loan portfolios – to incorporate environmental standards into their lending procedures and develop new credit lines for producers to finance the changes they need to implement to become certified soy suppliers.
National and Departmental Platforms
Since 2014, this effort has involved setting up national soy and beef platforms through which best practices can be identified, agreed and integrated throughout these key agricultural sectors. A wide range of stakeholders are involved in the Platforms. These include:
- Small and large-scale farmers
- Indigenous groups and NGOs
- Regional and national Governments
- Line Ministries
- Global commodity buyers, trading companies and financial institutions.
A unique element in Paraguay is that departmental platforms are also being established in regional areas such as Alto Parana.
These regional dialogue mechanisms are essential if the specificities of each producing region are to be taken into consideration and reflected in the upcoming National Action Plan. These also offer a unique way for small-scale farmers to have their voices heard, increasing their ownership of any subsequent sustainability measures.
Oscar Ferreiro, Platform Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amílcar Cazal, Soy Technical Specialist: email@example.com
César Meden, Beef Technical Specialist: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dalma Gonzáles, Communications Officer: email@example.com
Celeste Flores, Executive Assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org
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