Conference on Agriculture and the Environment in the Paraguay River Basin
addresses critical issues in one of the world's most spectacular and valuable
regions. The Paraguay River Basin extends through vast stretches of four
nations: Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. The
Paraguay River, the feature that gives the Paraguay River Basin its name,
begins in the northern part of the watershed in central-western Brazil,
and traverses some 2,550 kilometers southward to Confluencia, Argentina.
There it combines with the Paraná River, which reaches 3,500 meters
wide at Corrientes and courses southward to the Rio de la Plata Estuary
between Uruguay and Argentina.
Paraguay River Basin drains over one million (1,095,000) square kilometers
(with about 1/3 of the basin in Brazil, 1/3 in Paraguay, and 1/6 each in
Bolivia and Argentina). The upper portion of this watershed, the Upper
Paraguay River Basin, contains the Pantanal, the world's largest freshwater
wetland system, and one of the most immense, pristine, biologically rich
and ecologically important environments on the planet.
This conference will examine issues of major import
with respect to this remarkable region -- its agricultural, economic, and
environmental opportunities and challenges. This event is a natural
continuation of the second World
Conference on Preservation and Sustainable Development in the Pantanal,
which took place October 15-17, 1999 in Washington, D.C. Under the leadership
of its chairman, Dr. Noel Brown, this conference gathered 129 leading authorities
on the Pantanal, from 34 nations. Represented were individuals from the
United Nations Environment Program, the U.N. Development Program, the Organization
of American States, Nature Conservancy, IBAMA, Embrapa-CPAP, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, PRODEAGRO, the National Protected Areas Service of Bolivia,
Conservation International, the Brazilian House of Deputies, the Inter-American
Development Bank, the World Bank, the Worldwide Fund for Nature, the Ministry
of Foreign Relations of Paraguay, the Ministry of the Environment for Mato
Grosso do Sul, and other organizations, as well as 18 universities, and
diplomatic representation from Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Russia, Japan,
the People's Republic of China, and numerous other nations, helping to
make this an event of singular import.
present conference will examine not only the Pantanal, but also the greater
basin area. While attendance at this program will be limited to 70 select
leaders, this conference will again gather key authorities from academia,
and governmental, non-governmental and intergovernmental institutions,
with a goal towards understanding the challenges to the region and builiding
strategic partnerships to make the Paraguay River Basin a Twenty-First
Century model for sustainable development.