12 Sep 2013

Video: Working with the Local Community in San Rafael Forest, Paraguay

A conversation about conservation with Eusebio Chaparro at San Rafael Important Bird Area, Paraguay
By Shaun Hurrell

San Rafael has been widely recognized as one of the top conservation priorities in Paraguay and has National Park Status. In 1997, it was declared the first Important Bird Area (IBA) in Paraguay. More bird species (over 400) have been recorded at San Rafael than at any other site in Paraguay, and it is the most important site for the conservation of Atlantic Forest endemic species in the country.

The largest ecoregion within the Atlantic Forest complex in terms of original forest cover is the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest. Primarily as a result of agricultural expansion, this forest type has been reduced to only 7.8% of its original extent, with the remainder being highly fragmented. Despite being a National Park, very little action has been taken to protect San Rafael. For this reason, in 2001 Guyra Paraguay began purchasing land and by 2013 had acquired 7,274 hectares for conservation in perpetuity.

Guyra has created and equipped a biological research station, developed an internship program and works with local landowners to support local people in the development of organic methods of production in the buffer zone of the reserve, and on restored degraded lands, by natural regeneration and tree-planting. In this video, Eusebio Chaparro, the Cacique (leader) from the Guarani community tells us more about the benefits his community have received as a result of working in close collaboration with Guyra Paraguay.



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Produced as part of a 'Natural Livelihoods' series from BirdLife International's Local Empowerment Programme.

Video was launched at the Natural Livelihoods workshop of the BirdLife World Congress in Ottawa, June 2013.

View more Natrual Livelihoods videos: Ecological, economic and intrinsic values of forests - at Natewa Tunuloa Important Bird Area in Fiji

Birds and people - Living on the Edge in the Sahel

1 more video from the Natural Livelihoods workshop will be released soon. Part of BirdLife International's Local Empowerment Programme.