Deforestation in northern Argentina: More than 80,000 hectares in 2019

Deforestation in northern Argentina: More than 80,000 hectares in 2019

The environmental organization Greenpeace revealed that due to deforestation, during 2019, 80,938 hectares of forests were lost in northern Argentina.

• During 2019, Santiago del Estero lost 25,513 hectares (ha) of forests; Formosa, 23,521 ha; Chaco, 17,240 ha and Salta; 14,664 ha.
• Chaco (130,177 ha) and Santiago del Estero (127,527 ha) are the provinces with the highest loss of native forests in the last four years.
• Since the enactment of the Forest Law (2007), 959,769 hectares of protected forests have been cleared.
• The main causes of forest loss are the advance of the agricultural frontier for livestock and transgenic soybeans, and fires.

The environmental organization released its Annual Report on deforestation in northern Argentina, which reveals that, during 2019, 80,938 hectares of forests were lost in the four provinces with the most clearings in the country: Chaco, Santiago del Estero, Formosa and Salta.

Greenpeace highlights that, although there has been a significant decrease in deforestation since 2014, in 2019 a third of the clearings occurred in forests protected by national forest regulations (classified in Categories I - Red and II - Yellow), reaching 27,704 hectares (Santiago del Estero 18,679 ha, Chaco 7,683 ha, Salta 1,326 ha, Formosa 16 ha).

Chaco is the province with the most deforestation in the last four years (130,000 hectares). The province has already lost about 2 million hectares. “The ambitious plans to expand intensive livestock farming in the north of the country go against the current climate and biodiversity crisis, and put our last native forests at risk. The implementation of stronger and more ambitious policies, laws and agreements in defense of forests and their historic inhabitants is urgent, ”said Hernán Giardini, coordinator of the Greenpeace forests campaign.

Since the enactment of the Forest Law (2007), almost 1 million hectares of protected forests have already been cleared. Greenpeace warns that “the fines are not enough to discourage deforestation in protected areas and that, with a few exceptions, illegally cleared forests were not reforested. On the other hand, in many cases the complicity of officials in violating the regulations is clear.

Forest conservation plays a key role in mitigating climate change. Only the Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry and Other Land Uses sectors represent 39% of the country's Greenhouse Gas emissions. "Deforestation accelerates climate change and makes us more vulnerable to increased and intense rainfall, causing more and more floods," added Giardini.

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