Argentina is in forestry emergency

Forests and people are interconnected, and this has been so since time that has no memory. Always, both the tree and the man have had a special relationship based on survival.

It was a delicate chain of existence that before the human being treated with respect and appreciation. But humans have upset this balance. They began to see the forest not as a part of them but as something to be conquered. They used the forests, they seemed limitless, cutting down millions of trees.

But now we are realizing that forests do have limits and it is time to return to the previous balance.

All living organisms depend on forests. In an old tree in the forest can be found up to 1,500 invertebrates living in it. Some of these species may be key to scientific enlightenment. Every plant and every animal is unique and many of these animals are entirely dependent on forests.

In the forests there are exchanges of matter and energy with the environment. As a result, these ecosystems use energy from the sun and carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere to produce timber. Forests also play important ecological functions as the regulation of fluid balance and prevention of climate and soil erosion.

On the other hand, protect biodiversity, provide timber, firewood, store carbon and slow climate change, create jobs and are a place of recreation and leisure for the population of cities, more and more away from nature.

There are still many things unknown of forest ecosystems but every day there are new discoveries

Argentina is in forestry emergency: already lost 70% of the original forests and deforestation increased sharply in recent years by the uncontrolled development of the agricultural frontier.

It was for this reason that in late 2007, Congress passed the Law 26,331 of Minimum Budgets of Environmental Protection of Native Forests . This Forest Act provides that the provinces should make the land of its native forests through a participatory process, categorize the possible uses for forest lands: from conservation to the possibility of transformation to agriculture, through the sustainable use the forest.

An important aspect of incorporating the rule is the establishment of the “National Fund for the Enrichment and Conservation of Native Forests “in order to compensate the jurisdictions that preserve native forests for environmental services they provide.

The Forest Act is a tool that must be applied properly to ensure the conservation of our native forests. Unfortunately, the executive branch ruled the law in February 2009.

The sanction of the Forestry Law was a breakthrough in environmental matter and an example of the importance of the participation of civil society, constituting an essential tool to begin addressing the emergency forest in which the country finds itself.

In December 2010, several environmental groups expressed deep concern about the Administrative Decision 1037/2010 of Chief of Cabinet Ministers that annulled the allocation and distribution of funds from the Forestry Law for the year 2010.

In February 2011, after a heated argument with the Argentine Provinces for having canceled without explanation the rotation of 251 million pesos from the funds of the forest law, the Government began to transfer a portion of those funds, about $ 97 million .

However, the provinces still require sending the rest. And launched strong criticism because the fund should exceed $ 1,000 million in the 2011 budget was allocated $ 300 million.

According to Article 31 of the Law 26,331, the fund may not be less than 0.3% of the national budget, to which must be added two percent of total tax on exports of primary and secondary products from the agriculture, livestock and forestry sector for the year preceding the year under review.

Without forests, we would have much less oxygen available. This is because the trees (and all green plants) using a process known as photosynthesis, during which take carbon dioxide as a by-product, releasing oxygen.

Plants breathe carbon dioxide, as humans breathe oxygen. Has been a balance between species that eliminate carbon dioxide and take oxygen , and species that take carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen.

This balance has been disrupted since the nineteenth century. Fossil fuels like oil, produce carbon dioxide when burned so dioxide level has been rising dramatically since then.

Unfortunately, this gas in large quantities, it acts as an insulator and keeps heat near the Earth’s surface, this is what is called greenhouse effect.

The forest protection does not only mean saving many trees is to preserve a vital process that began millions of years ago.

Cristian Frers | Correspondent ANCA24 Argentina


About ANCA24canada

Environmental, Ecologists and Conservationist news from the Americas
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