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This paper aims to contribute to a constructive and deep debate on how to increase equality and justice in Paraguay's taxation system. To this end, it submits a proposal for debate: to increase tax revenues through a temporary tax on the export of soybeans together with other revenue measures (e.g. improving tax revenues on land, implementing a robust Personal Income Tax, more effectively combating tax evasion, rationalizing tax exemptions, eradicating unfair subsidies, revising in depth the social security system, etc.). It also proposes the adoption of actions to increase the effectiveness of public expenditure; and finally, it proposes to take into consideration further measures intended to deal with the non-technical limitations that are obstacles on the road to a more egalitarian society in Paraguay.
Soybean production in Paraguay now takes up 80 per cent of cultivated land, displacing agricultural production by family farmers and indigenous populations and deepening inequality in access to land.Among the agribusiness companies involved in soy monoculture in Paraguay, the company Desarrollo Agrícola del Paraguay sought to distinguish its activity in the sector by adopting a policy of social and environmental responsibility and investing in community-based initiatives. The results are analyzed in this report. It finds that the company's efforts have not compensated for the negative impacts of a model of production that increases the concentration of land and wealth; contaminates the environment; harms people's health; competes for limited resources and puts at risk the traditional livelihoods of small-scale farmers and indigenous communities.
Paraguay's tax system does not provide the resource base to eradicate poverty in the country, and has done little or nothing to achieve a more equal distribution of income and wealth. Two major taxation reforms over the last decade have done little to alleviate the fiscal injustice that is generated partly by the low tax reciprocity of the soy agribusiness - Paraguay's main export crop. Meanwhile, programmes to support small-scale farming receive a level of public financing accounting for just 5 per cent of public expenditure. With one of the highest levels of unequal land ownership in the world, labour informality at very high levels and poor environmental regulation of soy producers, the livelihoods and ecosystems of Paraguay's small-scale producers are at risk. There are serious loopholes in Paraguay's tax system that must be addressed in order to deliver a fairer, progressive taxation system that will allow the country to meet its social objectives.
This Briefing focuses on the economic dimension of the Association Agreements under discussion between the European Union and Mercosur, Chile and Mexico. These accords will create free trade areas and cover related matters such as intellectual property rights, government procurement, trade in services and capital movements. After examining trade relations between Europe and Latin America in their global and regional context, the paper considers the likely impact of the agreements on poverty in Latin America. We conclude that the EU is not taking sufficient account of human development concerns in their design - a failure stemming from excessive confidence in the contribution economic liberalisation will make to growth, and in the poverty reduction that will flow from that growth. Finally, we consider how the agreements could better achieve economic development and equity. Many of these suggestions are relevant to EU policies towards other countries in Latin America, and to any future regional agreement with the Caribbean.
Innovations in Civic Participation;
This paper presents findings from an exploratory study of government policies that involve youth in community service in 19 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The research, which was performed in 2004, provides descriptive information and explores the context within which national youth service policies can emerge and thrive. While it is assumed that well-designed national youth service policies provide a framework for engaging youth in pro-social activities that benefit themselves and their communities, relatively little research is available on the subject. Findings indicate that 13 of 19 countries in the study have a national youth service policy, and that the policies vary in forms and configuration. Facilitators and obstacles of these policies are discussed. The paper concludes by providing recommendations to policy makers.
World Resources Institute (WRI);
Developing countries are receiving new financial and technical support to design and implement programs that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (referred to as REDD+). Reducing emissions from forest cover change requires transparent, accountable, inclusive, and coordinated systems and institutions to govern REDD+ programs. Two multilateral initiatives -- the World Bank-administered Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (UN-REDD Programme) -- are supporting REDD+ countries to become "ready" for REDD+ by preparing initial strategy proposals, developing institutions to manage REDD+ programs, and building capacity to implement REDD+ activities. This paper reviews 32 REDD+ readiness proposals submitted to these initiatives to understand overall trends in how eight elements of readiness (referred to in this paper as readiness needs) are being understood and prioritized globally. Specifically, we assess whether the readiness proposals (i) identify the eight readiness needs as relevant for REDD+, (ii) discuss challenges and options for addressing each need, and (iii) identify next steps to be implemented in relation to each need. Our analysis found that the readiness proposals make important commitments to developing effective, equitable, and well-governed REDD+ programs. However, in many of the proposals these general statements have not yet been translated into clear next steps.