Since the 1970s, the immigration of Brazilian commercial farmers producing soybeans for export has led to the massive deforestation of the Atlantic forest in the eastern region of Paraguay. By the start of the new millennium, this change in land use had caused major ecological damage and had also exacerbated the problem of landlessness and rural poverty as small farm holdings were increasingly wiped out by largescale commercial agribusiness. By contrast, until recently the semi-arid western Chaco region, comprising 60% of the national territory but only 2% of the national population, had been largely protected due to its relative isolation. I have been one of the leading campaigners seeking to protect the rich biodiversity of the Chaco region. This region is now also under serious threat from an escalation in deforestation by Brazilian cattle companies.