Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia cut down some 25 million trees during the month of October in the shared Chaco region, a deforestation equivalent to two and a half times the area of Buenos Aires, according to a report distributed by the environmental NGO Guyra Paraguay.
The deforested area during that month in this ecoregion, the second largest forest area in South America after the Amazon, was about 50,574 hectares, up from the 40,551 hectares registered in September by Guyra.
This is equivalent to a daily deforestation rate of 1,686 hectares, according to Guyra's records. Of the deforestation caused in October, 55 percent corresponds to Paraguayan territory, 34 percent to Argentina and 11 percent to Bolivia, according to data from Guyra based on satellite images that can be consulted on the Internet at the "GeoPortal CartoChaco ".
The average daily deforestation for that month in the Paraguayan part of the region was 925 hectares, in Argentina 576 hectares and in Bolivia 185 hectares. According to the NGO, the destruction of forests also brings a decrease in the areas covered by water. While some 2 million hectares of water were conserved in August, 1.6 million hectares remained in October.
In addition, during the month of October, environmentalists detected a total of 38,806 sources of heat or fires throughout the Great American Chaco, corresponding to Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and also Brazil, which shares a small part of the Chaco, better known as The Pantanal.
The NGO highlighted that 47 percent of the outbreaks detected correspond to Argentina and 40 percent to Paraguay. Guyra Paraguay assured that "it cannot judge the legality of the registered land use changes" and that it makes available to everyone on its website the information and photographs with which they monitor the situation in the region.
The Chaco is home to tens of thousands of members of a score of indigenous peoples that extend through the four countries: such as the Guarani, the Enxet, Qom, Sanapaná or Ayoreo, among others.
In the Chaco region, between Paraguay and Bolivia, also lives the only indigenous group that remains in voluntary isolation outside the Amazon, the Ayoreo Totobiegosode. It is also the natural and best-preserved habitat for animals such as the jaguar (jaguar in Guaraní), the giant otter (arira'i), the giant anteater (jurumi) and the tatu carreta, the largest species of armadillo that exists in Paraguay. . This entire region is threatened by these countries that come together to destroy what little nature remains, then there is floods and fires that no one understands why they are increasingly manifested with greater virulence.