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Not a Human Tragedy - A Human Triumph

The transformation of the Chaco is an ecological and human tragedy | John Vidal | Environment | guardian.co.uk

South America's "green hell" – the Chaco...what has happened in that unbearably hot, ecologically fragile, insect-infested thorn-desert, in the past year? The answer is the Chaco – which stretches across Argentina and Paraguay – is now being ripped up and converted to US-style ranchland by bulldozers even faster than it was before and the few Indians who live there have never felt more threatened.
This year, the immense Al-Khorayef conglomerate announced it was to spend $400m "irrigating and developing" nearly 200,000 hectares to grow food for Saudi Arabia.
But the conservationists have not given up. The small but effective World Land Trust, has, with local partner Guyra Paraguay, tried to hold a line and now owns 2.5m ha, an area roughly the size of East Anglia.

Today's transformation of the Chaco is an ecological and human tragedy

A human tragedy? Transforming millions of hectares of desert into food producing farms. Upsetting a few nomads, who probably prefer driving air conditioned John Deeres to scratching for bugs to eat in the sand, is a price worth paying to feed millions of hungry mouths.


The tragedy is that it's feeding arabs.

I wonder how long it will be before Mr. Vidal goes to live in the remaining area. After all even he doesn't need an area the size of East Anglia all to himself.

This is not stictly true. Neither Guyra Paraguay nor the World Land Trust own an area of 2.5 million acres. The WLT is helping fund Guyra who are providing the protection (rangers) for that area. It's only five rangers for a huge area. With more funds we could provide greater support. Keeping an extra ranger in the field costs between $5000-$10,000 a year. Not a lot, but difficult to find. Contact me if you want to help.

John A Burton, CEO, World Land Trust

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