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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Forest conservation in Argentina : early analysis of the Forest Law implementation in the Chaco Ecoregion Romero, Jennifer Estefania


Argentina is a federal republic, where livestock and agriculture have shown spectacular development due to commodity-oriented policies and land-use change, resulting in a consequent loss of native forests. In this context, in 2007, the Argentinean government enacted National Law 26.331 of Minimum Standards for the Environmental Protection of Native Forests (Forest Law) whose objectives are, among others, to promote the conservation of native forests through land-use planning. This process has been developed in different ways in the provinces of the country. This research is focused on the Provinces of Salta, Santiago del Estero and Córdoba in northern Argentina - Chaco Ecoregion. These provinces have shown high deforestation rates and some conflicts with the Forest Law’s administration. The analysis focuses on the Forest Law implementation, and is undertaken considering the extent to which objectives have been met so far, and the main forces, factors or drivers affecting the Law’s implementation in the three provinces. The evaluation of the Law is focused on its outputs (budget and deforestation rates). Impacts on forest conservation, local economy or social benefits (outcomes) are not analyzed since it is too early to evaluate them. This research is based on secondary data analysis, available public data from governmental and non-governmental institutions, unpublished data requested of institution representatives, and through the analysis of unpublished valuable information gathered in the course of interviews conducted by myself, for a non-academic study. The results show that local implementation of the Forest Law is highly affected by external forces. Despite the fact that some provinces have followed the guidelines provided by the regulation, the Forest Law has not been effective so far, since high deforestation rates still occur. However, many forest conservation projects have benefited from the law, which could have long-term visible effects. The problems related to its effective implementation are not related to the Forest Law itself, but to the inconsistency of the Provincial Forest Laws with the national regulation, the degree in which the Provincial Forest Laws reflect the participatory process that originated them, and with their control and monitoring.

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