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It took place at a national stakeholder meeting to build global consensus on this tool.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast July 24th we were at the Carmelitas Center in Asunción, Paraguay, to present the first version of the Map for Paraguay and the in-situ evaluation guide for High Conservation Value Areas (HCVA). This is a zoning tool aiming at guiding responsible soy production while conserving biodiversity and HCVAs, i.e. reducing environmental impact.

The presentation took the form of a national stakeholder meeting with the purpose of expanding consultation to all the country’s interested parties. Thus, the meeting was not only a presentation of the achievements made and of the maps, but it also included team work and some suggestions were collected to incorporate them into the next version of the Maps, send them to public consultation and approve a final version of such maps. An essential factor arising from this sharing was the agreed upon idea that RTRS Maps for Paraguay will be very useful tools beyond the RTRS Certification itself by reaching the private sector and generating public policy in the country.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the SEAM and the Ministry of Agriculture, the president of INFONA and some other officers from this organization, representatives of banks making up Paraguay’s responsible finance bureau, several producer cooperatives, as well as various representatives of the industry and civil society organizations (WWF, Guyra, Moisés Bertoni and Solidaridad). Representatives of other programmes, such as  UNDP and Green Commodities, were also present.

The RTRS Mapping Project was born as an RTRS initiative to guide responsible soy expansion and at the same time safeguard natural ecosystems and conserve biodiversity. The work in Paraguay began in July 2013 under the coordination of Enrique Molas, who was in charge of forming a pluralist Technical Group with representatives of NGOs, the government, the financial sector, industry and production. Through a participative process, all of them helped define the criteria for the classification of the territory into the four categories included in the RTS Production Standard, using as sources documents and maps from national and international government and non-government institutions, satellite images, geospatial analysis, and thematic digitalization.

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