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Fire in the Argentine Paraná Islands

Fire in the Argentine Paraná Islands

We are running after the carrot, it is time to legislate on the protection of islands and wetlands as natural reserves that should not be anthropized.

During a tour of the areas of Santa Fé, declared in environmental emergency, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development; Juan Cabandié announced that he will appear before the Justice for “request that all the spending of the National Government in the fight against this irrational fire be computed to the owners of the fields where the burns have been made”.

The practice of “clearing” the fields or extending the cultivation area by burning native grasslands and forests is recurrent and unfortunately considered an acceptable method.

The city of Rosario, Santa Fé, woke up again with a terrible smell of smoke as a result of more than forty fires in the island area that were put out or tried to be put out by the group of brigade members that have been operating in the region for a few days.

The event occurred almost as an affront after the provincial governments together with the Nation agreed to a permanent surveillance. An environmental emergency will be declared and a 180-day ban on any type of burning in the area.

However, until the underlying issue is resolved - which is the business and exploitation of the islands for the breeding and fattening of cattle -, the problem will always be followed by trying to turn off the lights that originate off our coasts. .

We are running after the carrot, it is time to legislate on the protection of islands and wetlands as natural reserves that should not be anthropized.

The agricultural and livestock activity should find another place to develop. And even the creation of tourist infrastructure on the islands, must consider minimum budgets and be in harmony with the ecosystems.

Here it is not only about the destruction of biodiversity, there is the damage to the health of the inhabitants of nearby cities due to the expansion of smoke.

Also this type of productive activities on the islands has a strong impact on the pollution of the rivers. Agrotoxics and antibiotics among other dangerous pollutants, reach the waterways after each rain.

Climate change that produces a synchronous tidal crisis over the Paraná and Uruguay river basins is affecting the vitality of the flora and fauna of the wetlands; If we add these barbaric practices on the environment to this phenomenon of human origin, the result will be an irreversible impact on areas of high biological value.

The Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development must not only make the owners of the fields pay for the damage produced, he must fundamentally promote a law for the protection of wetlands that avoids all types of anthropic activity on them that endangers their integrity, preserved the valuable services that this ecosystem provides.

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