The authors find that roughly 742,000 ha in the Paraguayan Chaco are suitable for soybean frontier expansion with an additional 940,000 ha moderately suitable for expansion. Agricultural technology and land price appreciation are identified as the main drivers of soybean expansion in the region.

However, infrastructure investments are set to further drive soybean expansion and connect the region via the multi-national Corredor-Bioceánico “bi-oceanic corridor” road project. The continued rapid development of this fragile landscape could transform the Paraguayan Chaco into a major South American logistics hub for soybean and other agricultural production. Without appropriate governance systems in place, this development could lead to irreversible large-scale damage to the socio-environmental systems, similar to boom dynamics seen in other South American frontiers.