Paraguay Climate Change and Sustainable Development
Introduction on Paraguay Climate and Risks
Paraguay is a landlocked country in South America bordered by Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia, with a Mediterranean climate and a population of almost seven million people. Encarnación, Ciudad del Este, and Asunción, the country’s capital, are home to 60% of the country’s population. The country has experienced the most economic growth in Latin America in the previous 30 years because to political and economic stability. The country, which is classified as an upper middle-income economy, has positioned itself as an attractive and orderly place for investments in recent years, supporting economic growth.
Paraguay is a country rich in natural resources, with a thriving agricultural and livestock industry. Clean, renewable energy is plentiful and exported across the region. The country is mostly flat, with a few low-lying hilly areas. Urban areas are home to 62 percent of Paraguay’s population of around 7 million people, with yearly urban growth rates of 1.7 percent. According to forecasts, the country’s population would grow by 1 million people in 2030, with 65.7 percent living in urban regions, while in 2050, the country’s expected population will reach 9 million people, with 74.3 percent living in urban areas.
Significant barriers to land ownership and an unequal distribution of the country’s wealth exist. Energy, beef, and soy exports are among the country’s most important economic sectors. In recent years, the government has taken major steps to diversify its economy, with a rising informal trade and services sector. The prolonged drought in Paraguay (which began in late 2018 and is expected to last until early 2022) has had a particularly negative impact on the country’s production and trade of essential economic staples, prompting the central bank to lower its yearly growth forecast.
Because of its economic reliance on agriculture, animal husbandry, and hydroelectric energy production, Paraguay is especially sensitive to the effects of rising climatic variability and change. The country’s high rate of deforestation is concerning, especially given the country’s booming agriculture and cattle sectors. Extreme weather events, such as heavy rain and heat waves, are becoming more frequently, wreaking havoc on all sectors. Furthermore, a considerable rise in total yearly rainfall has been documented for the summer months of November to December, which coincides with ENSO (El Nio Southern Oscillation) events, which are also linked to floods.Droughts are becoming more common and intense as a result of La Nia occurrences.
Paraguay Climate Background
Paraguay is a landlocked country in central South America that shares borders with Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia. Paraguay does not have a formal climate change adaptation policy at the moment.
Paraguay Climate and Forest Conservation Video
The climate of Paraguay is subtropical to temperate, with a rainy season in the summer and a dry season in the winter. Paraguay’s average temperature is 24 degrees Celsius. Thermal variances do exist, however. The mountains, plateaus, and valleys in the east of the country contribute to a temperate and humid environment, in contrast to the Chaco plain’s warm, dry tropical climate. The eastern part receives a lot of rain, whereas the far west becomes semiarid (CIA 2009). In the southeastern region, the average annual rainfall is 1800 millimeters. In the northwest, the average rainfall is 700 millimeters.
The climate of Paraguay is characterized by high humidity and warm temperatures all year, with hot and rainy summers and mild winters with great temperature range, which can bring both frosts and heat waves over nearly the whole country. Annual temperatures rise in the south and fall in the north, while rainfall falls in the east and west. The country experiences warm weather for the majority of the year, with average annual temperatures exceeding 20°C across the board. The yearly average temperature in the Eastern Region is between 20°C and 24°C, while in the Chaco or Western Region, the average annual temperature is around 25°C.
In much of the country, the two months with the most rainfall are March to May and October to November. From September to April, downpours are prevalent, where a huge amount of rain falls in a few minutes, and this usually happens when tropical air masses are dominating and humidity is high. During the winter months, from May to August, light rains are prevalent.
Temperatures in Paraguay, particularly maximum temperatures, have risen in both winter and summer months from 1960 to 2010, with summer months seeing the largest increases.
The average maximum temperature has risen as well. The number of warm evenings is on the rise, while the number of cold nights is on the down.
Historically, the southern valleys and plateaus have had more moderate and humid weather than the Chaco region in the north west, which has had warmer temperatures.
The warmer months of November to December saw an increase in total annual rainfall, which coincided with ENSO (El Nio Southern Oscillation) events, which are also linked to floods.
Droughts are caused by La Nia occurrences. In addition, all of the areas show a rise in the number of days with significant rainfall.
Paraguay Climate Change and Disaster Risks
Because of its reliance on climatic conditions for income generation through agriculture, electricity, and transportation, Paraguay is extremely sensitive to the effects of climate change. Changes in production capacity and growth have been connected to extreme occurrences. Changes in the El Nio Southern Oscillation weather pattern have historically impacted Paraguay, causing drought and flooding events with considerable implications on agriculture and water supplies. Heat waves, hurricanes, wildfires, and freezes are just a few of the country’s present environmental concerns.
Paraguay Climate Change Video
Paraguay Climate Change and Disaster Vulnerability
Communities that may be most affected include those who rely on rain-fed agriculture, those who live near rivers and flood plains, those who live in water-scarce regions, and those who live in metropolitan areas subject to heat stress. Natural hazards such as flooding, drought, heat waves, forest fires, and infectious illnesses, to mention a few, are expected to become more intense as a result of climate change. As temperatures rise, the likelihood of freezing will likely reduce. As part of the SENDAI agreement and in line with the country’s 2030 objective, Paraguay published a national disaster risk reduction strategy.
Paraguay Climate Change and Disaster Impacts
Paraguay Climate Change and Agriculture Damaged
Agriculture is one of Paraguay’s most important economic sectors, and it is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Agricultural land accounts for about 55 percent of total land area, 12 percent of arable land, and 38.5 percent of forest land, while permanent cropland accounts for only 0.2 percent of total land area. The western regions are mostly involved in livestock and cattle raising, whilst the central and eastern districts are primarily involved in agricultural cultivation. Paraguay is known for its conservation agriculture practices. In 2017, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries accounted for 18% of total GDP value added and 21.2 percent of total employment.
Agriculture, mostly soy and bovine meat, and related industries account for 30% of GDP and 40% of exports (National Adaptation Plan, 2017). The government of Paraguay handles agricultural concerns from the perspective of food security and agricultural productivity in relation to growth and economic development. Cotton, beans, cassava, sesame, and sugar cane are grown on subsistence and family farms. Soy, cattle, corn, and wheat are among the crops that are vulnerable to fluctuations in precipitation and temperature in Paraguay’s industrial agricultural output.
Agricultural losses caused by extreme weather events like drought and flooding are strongly linked to GDP declines. Temperature rises are expected, putting heat stress on crops and cattle, while changes in precipitation patterns could expose agriculture to drought or flood damage, particularly near the Paraguay River. Under a business-as-usual scenario, yields of sesame, cotton, and soy are predicted to decline by 2050. (National Adaptation Plan, 2017). Deforestation, erosion, and land degradation are also problems in Paraguay, as is pesticide management.
Paraguay Climate Change and Hydrological Impacts –Water
Hydrological richness abounds in Paraguay, with regional differences in water resource kinds and seasonality. The Paraguay River and the Paraná River both have watersheds in Paraguay, however the majority of the watersheds are located outside the country. The Paraguay River runs through the country, separating the western and eastern regions and serving as a major transit corridor. In 2011, rivers carried 50 percent of all international trade (Second National Communication, 2011).
The Cuenca de la Plata hydrological network includes Paraguay, which is home to the Acufero Guaran, one of the world’s largest fresh water reservoirs (Second National Communication, 2011). Water is an essential component of hydroelectric energy production, Paraguay’s second largest export and a major economic engine. In Itaip (Paraguay and Brazil) and Yacyretá (Paraguay and Argentina), the country maintains two big binational hydroelectric power facilities that generate around 53,000 GWh per year. The navigability of rivers and the country’s ability to convey products can be impacted by changes in regional precipitation patterns.
Temperature rises and changes in rainfall seasonality are expected to put a strain on hydropower generation. Extreme weather events and flooding may alter the transmission of vector-borne diseases such as Malaria and Dengue Fever. Infrastructure, agricultural production, and the risk of riverine floods could all be harmed as a result of such flooding events.
Paraguay Climate Change and Coastal Disaster Impacts
The planet’s systematic warming is driving global mean sea level to rise in two basic ways: (1) melting mountain glaciers and polar ice sheets are adding water to the ocean, and (2) warming of the ocean water causes expansion and therefore greater volume. Since 1880, the global mean sea level has risen roughly 210–240 millimeters (mm), with about a third of it occurring in the previous two and a half decades.
The annual growth is currently around 3mm each year. Natural variability in area winds and ocean currents causes regional fluctuations, which can last for days, months, or even decades. However, additional factors such as ground uplift (e.g., ongoing rebound from Ice Age glacier weight), changes in water tables owing to water extraction or other water management, and even the effects of local erosion can all play a role locally.
Paraguay Climate Change and Coastal Disaster Impacts Video
Rising sea levels put a strain on both the physical coastline and coastal ecosystems. Freshwater aquifers, which support municipal and agricultural water supplies as well as natural ecosystems, can be contaminated by saltwater incursions. Because there is a significant lag between attaining equilibrium and global temperatures continuing to rise, sea level will continue to rise for a long time. The magnitude of the rise will be heavily influenced by future carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, and the speed of the rise may be progressively influenced by glacier and ice sheet melting.
Paraguay Climate Change and Sustainable Development
Climate change could have an impact on the three pillars of Paraguay’s 2030 development goals: poverty reduction and social development, inclusive economic growth, and economic connectedness with international markets (NDC, 2015). Climate change is expected to have a significant influence on the economy and population of Paraguay. The primary economic sectors of Paraguay, including agricultural production, animal husbandry, and hydroelectric energy, are all affected by environmental factors.
The historical link between floods and droughts and food security and public health reflects these sectors’ vulnerability to climate change effects. In addition to hydroelectric power, the economy relies on navigable rivers for transportation, which could be harmed by climate-related changes in river flows. Rising temperatures and shifting precipitation have a negative impact on agricultural production. Water resources, forestry, agricultural and livestock production, land management, energy, infrastructure, health and sanitation, disaster risk management, and early warning systems are just a few of the issues that need to be addressed.
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