Country Profile: 

Population (thousand) : 6,639.12
Multidimensional Poverty Index Value : 0.06
Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, Country Rank : 112
Gross Domestic Product per capita, at Purchasing Price Parity (US$): 9,184.5

Main counterparts: Environment Secretariat (SEAM, Secretaría del Medio Ambiente); Secretariat of Social Action (SAS, Secretaría de Acción Social); Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAGA, Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería); Agricultural Credit Agency (CAH, Crédito Agrícola de Habilitación), and UN Development Programme Paraguay.

Main objective: Mainstreaming of the environmental and sustainability dimensions and better coordination of different public policies by supporting families in rural communities of the Caazapá National Park area as a preliminary step for the subsequent generation of a replicable model for its integration and participation in local and regional economies through sustainable agricultural production and the creation of inclusive markets.

Budget: USD 1,718,541 (USD 771,728 Poverty-Environment Initiative; USD 946,817 counterpart funding)


Poverty-Environment mainstreaming context

In Paraguay, poverty currently affects 32.4% of the total population, while extreme poverty affects 18%, with a higher concentrations of poor people in rural areas (57%).

In the Caazapá Department, 82% of the population lives in rural communities with an economy based on agriculture (bean, maize, cotton, peanut, soybean, sunflower, sugar cane) and livestock production. 42% of the population is poor, which positions the Department as one of the poorest of the country, 16 percentage points above the national average.

The Tavaí District northeast of the Caazapá Department, is the poorest of the Department, with 53.6% of its population living in poverty. Key environmental problems in Tavaí include degraded land and low-yield soil and illegal logging from the Caazapá National Park to produce charcoal as a source of income.

Environmental protection practices in the area are practically unknown. This is due to the fact that small-scale farmers lack technical and financial support to set up sustainable production systems, as well as a lack of coordination between public institutions and private stakeholders, especially at the departmental and municipal level, to integrate small poor landowners into the formal economy. Hence, Paraguay faces considerable environmental challenges such as biodiversity loss, land erosion, loss of productive agricultural land, and degradation of water quality.

Main Activities:

  • Improved inter-institutional coordination to develop a joint national programmes for conditional cash transfers (TEKOPORA)-national programme for food production (PPA) working methodology and mainstreaming of gender and environment outcomes
  • Operational integration of TEKOPORA and PPA programmes including gender responsive and environmentally sustainable outcomes and indicators
  • TEKOPORA and PPA programmes and the Regional and Global Poverty-Environment Initiative Strategies share lessons learned, methodologies and instruments
  • Poverty-environment linkages mainstreamed in the planning instruments of the Departmental Government of Caazapa and the Municipality of Tavaí
  • Inter-institutional Roundtable for productive coordination in Tavaí established to improve coordination of socio-economic and environmental initiatives and promotion of inclusive businesses
  • Strengthened organizational and productive capacities of beneficiaries of the TEKOPORA and PPA programmes in Tavaí
  • Strengthened communal bank modality to provide inclusive micro-credit services in Tavaí
  • TEKOPORA beneficiaries produce environmentally sustainable agricultural products and generate incomes through supply chains
  • Micro-credit services (communal banks) improve production and foster the development of micro-enterprises

• Interinstitutional coordination has been promoted among the Secretariat of Social Action, the Agricultural Credit Agency, the Tavaí Municipality, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, all of whom have held monitoring and follow-up meetings regarding the Tavaí project.
• A Joint Operational Manual between the TEKOPORA, TENONDERA, and programmes have been elaborated in collaboration with the Ministry of Women, which guaranteed the mainstreaming of the gender dimension into this work.
• Capacity building has been generated and stimulated in Central Government institutions to improve the knowledge and understanding of poverty-environment linkages in order to incorporate pro-poor, gender sensitive initiatives and aiming to achieve results in terms of environmental sustainability in national planning processes, especially regarding the TEKOPORA and food production programmes, whose methodology has been revised. As a result of this work, a new national social programme, called TENONDERA, has been created, aiming to promote inclusive economic growth.
• Support has been given to SAS in the process of obtaining the ISO 14001 certification.
• Support has been given for the creation of an environmental unit within SAS, aiming to measure the environmental impact of social policies, and vice versa, therefore facilitating the integration of poverty-environment linkages.
• A study on the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) was carried out, aiming to develop a new method of poverty measurement in Paraguay that may also be used as output criteria to be used with the beneficiaries of the TEKOPORA programme. This study estimates that 10% of multidimensional poverty is related to environmental factors, which are not being measured at present.
• Support has been given to the implementation and subsequent assessment of the Action Plan for the Productive Sector for the Caazapá Department, and to the planning of the next Productive Plan for the Department .
• At the district level, the project undertook the design and publication of the Tavaí District Plan , which provides a useful tool for local technicians working for institutions and communities of the Tavaí district.
• Families have received training in business planning, so they can obtain micro-credit programmes more easily and generate income for the whole family. In this regard, the management and information system of the Agricultural Credit Agency (CAH) has been reformed to make it more efficient, thereby increasing the number of its beneficiaries.