17 Years of the FCBT: Transforming the Future of Paraguay's Forests

The Rainforest Conservation Fund celebrates its ongoing commitment to the preservation and restoration of Paraguay's most precious ecosystems.

In a significant milestone for Paraguay's environmental conservation, the Tropical Forest Conservation Fund (FCBT) proudly commemorates its seventeenth anniversary of uninterrupted activity. Since its establishment under Law No. 3003/2006, this civil entity has played an integral role in promoting, financing and implementing initiatives that protect, maintain and restore the country's valuable forests.

The FCBT, the result of an agreement between the governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Paraguay under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA), emerges as a beacon of hope in the context of global forest conservation. The institution was born from the renegotiation of certain Paraguayan debts with the United States and its agencies, establishing a Fund and a Council aimed at safeguarding the nation's tropical forests.

During its years of existence, the FCBT has worked tirelessly to effectively and transparently manage the resources allocated to it, anchored in high technical and human standards. The Fund's priority lies in financial support for sustainable management projects in 6 protected wildlife areas and their surrounding areas. The FCBT has set as a key objective its intervention in the "Southern Corridor of the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest" (BAAPA), an ecoregion of global renown for its exceptional biodiversity and the presence of unique species.

FCBT's 17-year track record reflects significant achievements in the conservation, protection and restoration of Paraguay's forests. Through various projects, a total of $4.7 million has been invested in 46 conservation initiatives, resulting in the delivery of more than 3 million seedlings for reforestation and restoration, benefiting more than 300 communities and their 5,000 associated families. This joint effort has contributed to the preservation of more than 200 springs and watercourses in 4 departments of the country.

The FCBT's commitment has also been manifested in institutional strengthening, with $1.7 million earmarked for 22 projects that promote more efficient natural resource management in Paraguay. Collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development (MADES) and some 30 civil society organizations has resulted in the training of 100 park rangers nationwide, support for fighting forest fires in six protected areas, and the development of sound management plans.

"The FCBT celebrates with satisfaction the successes accumulated over the years. Our work has shown that a better future for our environment is possible. The will exists and the collaboration between the central government, local governments, civil society organizations, the private sector and the communities that inhabit the protected areas and their surroundings is the path. All that is missing is a catalytic element, and that is what we have promoted. Our hope is that the seed of awareness we have sown will germinate deeply, generating sustainable benefits for Paraguay's forests."

Martín Román, Executive Director of the FCBT, highlights the achievements and significance of the work carried out during these almost two decades.

The anniversary of the FCBT is not only an opportunity to reflect on the achievements made, but also to recognize the challenges that persist in the conservation of tropical forests in Paraguay. To achieve this goal, it is crucial to continue promoting collaboration among diverse actors, both nationally and internationally, and to seek sustainable solutions that ensure the protection of biodiversity and forest ecosystems.

From RedLAC, we extend our most sincere congratulations to the Fondo de Conservación de Bosques Tropicales for their tireless work towards the preservation and restoration of forest ecosystems in Paraguay. Their commitment and dedication are an inspiring example for the entire region. We wish them many more years of success and collaboration in the important task of protecting biodiversity and natural resources for present and future generations.

For detailed information about the Rainforest Conservation Fund and its efforts, visit http://www.fcbt.org.py/.

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