Argentine forest fund approved in wake of floods


After a wall of water, mud and tree trunks smashed through the northern Argentine city of Tartagal on Feb. 9, leaving two people missing and forcing the evacuation of 1,000 families, experts pointed the finger at lax land-use policy. Specifically, they blamed the wholesale clearing of forest for monoculture farming—particularly soy cultivation, a potent foreign-exchange earner. Besides causing biodiversity loss and erosion, they argued, deforestation in various parts of Argentina has compromised the land’s ability to soak up rainwater. They also contended the federal government had been slow to use a tool it already possessed to begin addressing the problem: a groundbreaking forest-conservation law that cleared the Argentine Congress in November 2007 but had not been put fully into effect. The... [Log in to read more]

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