Cutting ban, forest-services fund approved
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina’s Congress has imposed a one-year ban on cutting in all primary and secondary native forests and required the country’s provinces to use the time to inventory their woodlands and classify them according to their environmental value.
Cutting will be allowed to resume only after the provinces have completed their forestland analysis—and only in areas of relatively low conservation value after the completion of environmental-impact studies.
More than 30 environmental- and social-advocacy organizations waged an intense public-information campaign in support of the ban, presenting the Argentine Senate in October with a petition containing roughly 1.5 million signatures.
Filed in Congress in May 2006 by a lawmaker allied with President Néstor Kirchner, the forest-conservation measure won approval of the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of Congress) this March.
The bill then met with fierce opposition in the Senate. It only prevailed after the Kirchner administration agreed to create a fund through which nearly 1 billion pesos (US$300 million) will be disbursed annually to compensate the provinces and forest landowners for foregone income.