9/1/2022 - Politics and Society

Deforestation in Argentina: Where we are, what we are doing and what policies we can improve

By Matteo Palladino

Deforestation in Argentina: Where we are, what we are doing and what policies we can improve

Deforestation is a global problem. Forests and forests have been being razed for many years, due to various causes: the changes in land use due to the advancement of the agricultural frontier, the need for wood both for traditional timber uses and also for the production of coal, fuel widely used in developing countries, the growth of the population and the consequent housing needs, among other threats, are decreasing the forest cover of the land.

Argentina is among the 10 countries that have most dismantled in the last three decades.

But what is a forest?

In Argentina Law 26,331 of "Minimum requirements for environmental protection of the Native Forests"It understands how native forests to natural forest ecosystems in different conditions of development, of primary or secondary origin, which have an arboreal coverage greater than or equal to 20% with trees that reach a minimum height of 3 meters and a higher continuous occupation of 0.5 hectares.

According to this definition, we have 536.545 km2 of native forests (the 19.2% of our continental surface).

What is the government of our country doing to protect them?

From the sanction of Law 26,331 the development of a territorial planning plan was entrusted to the provinces where the forests were divided into three categories:

  • ROJO, those areas with great importance in conservation that cannot be intervened
  • AMARILLAS, those of importance, but may be subject to rational use, through authorization, and
  • TRUE that has no conservation value and can be dismantled.
According to the report on the deforestation of Greenpeace of 2021, Argentina lost the equivalent of 12 football fields per hour by the rioters, where almost half of the deforestation of the north occurred in Santiago del Estero and more than 80% was illegal. In Chaco the topadoras dragged 18,000 hectares, although the rioters were suspended by provincial justice.It is estimated that during 2021 the deforestation in the Argentine north reaches the 110.180 hectares, i.e. 5 times the surface of the Federal Capital.It is of paramount importance that we understand the value of the standing forests, which are not only sources of wood, but also shelter biodiversity, are sources of resources for the nearby communities, absorb and fix carbon, regulate the local climate and retain rainwater avoiding floods.There are several initiatives in our country for the protection of forests. I recommend, in particular, the Forest Bank, which is an NGO that groups small, medium and large donors to buy lands with forests that are then delivered to the administration of national parks to create new protected areas.

This NGO already takes 4 saved forests and participated in the process of creating the National Park El Impenetrable in Chaco and the annexation of Estancia Ricanor to the National Park The Glaciares.

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matteo palladino

Matteo Palladino

My path of activism raged in 2015 at the Banco de Bosques Foundation, I participated in countless campaigns to save forests in Argentina. I am currently studying the Lic. in Environmental Management and developing Oxigen Token, a key tool in the salvation of the forests of our beloved planet.

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