Agencies responsible for environmental protection include the National Environmental Health Service, the Ministry of Public Health, and the Ministry of Public Works and Communications. Nearly all forests are privately owned and little was done to develop a national forest policy until the establishment in 1973 of the National Forest Service. Paraguay's forests are currently threatened by the expansion of agriculture. At most recent estimate, about a third of the nation's forest and woodland area has been lost. The absence of trees contributes to the loss of soil through erosion. Water pollution is also a problem. Its sources include industrial pollutants and sewage. The nation has 94 cu km of renewable water resources with 78% used to support farming and 7% is used for industrial purposes. About 93% of the city dwellers and 59% of the rural people have access to pure drinking water. The nation's cities produce about 0.4 million tons of solid waste per year. Some of Paraguay's cities have no facilities for waste collection.
In 2001 there were 10 endangered mammal species, 26 endangered bird species, and 38 endangered plant species. Endangered species include the black-fronted piping guan, black caiman, spectacled caiman, and broad-nosed caiman. The glaucous macaw has become extinct.