Nearly 70 percent of Argentine forests lost in a century

Sep 26, 2009
A partial view of the lenga's forest taken from the base of Perito Moreno glacier in 2008 in Patagonia, Argentina. Argentina has lost nearly 70 percent of its forests in a century, the Environmental Secretariat said at a UN conference on desertification.

Argentina has lost nearly 70 percent of its forests in a century, the Environmental Secretariat said at a UN conference on desertification.

Forests that spread across 100 million hectares (247 million acres) in 1900 have dwindled to 33.19 million hectares (82 million acres), officials said.

"In 100 years, we have lost between 60 and 70 percent of our forest heritage," Environmental Undersecretary Sergio La Rocca told reporters on Friday.

Forest destruction has accelerated in the past 10 years with the boom of soy crops, a major motor of growth in Argentina, the top exporter of soy flour and oil and the third-largest exporter of soy seeds.

The northern province of Salta alone lost 26 percent of its forests in the past 30 years, according to a study by the College of Agronomics at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

The UBA study found that in 2007, "the highest rate was reached: 2.1 percent of forests destroyed in a single year."

Faced with the breadth of the devastation in the province, the Supreme Court ordered a halt to deforestation in natural forests, following an appeal by indigenous populations.

The move ran counter to the provincial authorities, which had authorized exploitation.

La Rocca spoke at the ninth session of the conference of parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCDD) in Buenos Aires.

The scourge of desertification directly affects 200 million people, according to UN figures.

Buenos Aires will host the 23rd World Forestry Congress October 18-23, a forum where governments, civil society and the private sector exchange views to formulate forestry policy.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Pact with devil? California farmers use oil firms' water

Related Stories

Uganda forests rapidly disappearing: study

Jun 20, 2009

Uganda has lost nearly a third of its forest cover since 1990 due to expanding farmlands, a rapidly growing human population and increased urbanisation, a government report said on Friday.

Recommended for you

Gimmicks and technology: California learns to save water

Jul 03, 2015

Billboards and TV commercials, living room visits, guess-your-water-use booths, and awards for water stinginess—a wealthy swath of Orange County that once had one of the worst records for water conservation ...

Cities, regions call for 'robust' world climate pact

Jul 03, 2015

Thousands of cities, provinces and states from around the world urged national governments on Thursday to deliver a "robust, binding, equitable and universal" planet-saving climate pact in December.

Will climate change put mussels off the menu?

Jul 03, 2015

Climate change models predict that sea temperatures will rise significantly, including in the tropics. In these areas, rainfall is also predicted to increase, reducing the salt concentration of the surface ...

As nations dither, cities pick up climate slack

Jul 02, 2015

Their national governments hamstrung by domestic politics, stretched budgets and diplomatic inertia, many cities and provinces have taken a leading role—driven by necessity—in efforts to arrest galloping ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.