The Gran Chaco is the second largest forested ecoregion in South America, occupying more than 100 million hectares between Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia. It is made up of a wide diversity of habitats, including forests, savannas, grasslands and wetlands, making it a living support of a biological, social and productive network.
The Gran Chaco is home to more than 3,400 species of plants, 500 birds, 150 mammals, 120 reptiles and 100 amphibians. In addition, thanks to the ecosystem services it provides, this ecoregion contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation and water regulation, and supports the life of local communities, food security and economic development.
© Hartmut Jungius – WWF / © Staffan Widstrand – WWF / © YawarFilms
However, despite its great value, the Gran Chaco is one of the most threatened regions on the planet: it is among the 11 places with the highest deforestation in the world and high levels of degradation. This region faces the sustained loss of its natural and cultural heritage mainly due to land use change for agricultural and forestry production and for real estate businesses, causing serious environmental, social and economic consequences.
In Argentina we have already lost more than 30% of the Chaco forests and we need to act urgently to avoid deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems. The Gran Chaco is in a state of emergency and needs the contribution of all sectors of society today.