Mbaracayu Biosphere Reserve, Paraguay

ALCES was applied to inform land use planning for a biosphere reserve located in Paraguay’s Atlantic forest region. The project was completed in collaboration with Fundacion Moises Bertoni, a nongovernment organization based in Paraguay that manages the biosphere reserve, and Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures. Funding was provided by the Canadian International Development Agency. The scenario analysis explored the relative merits of conventional and conservation agricultural practices, sustained yield forestry, and protection. Simulations compared the long-term impacts on forest habitat, biotic carbon, and farmers’ income. Ecological and economic decline were projected under conventional practices, and increased protection achieved only small improvements to ecological indicators at the cost of reduced farmers’ income. Conservation agriculture, on the other hand, successfully balanced ecological and economic objectives by addressing the underlying issue of land degradation. A journal article published in Ecology and Society describes the analysis in greater detail here.