Environmental problems in Argentina
More than 16 million ha of forest cover lost between 1980 and 2000
Beans taking over forests
Research in Argentina has shown that deforestation due to agricultural expansion of soybean is threatening the Yungas ‘cloud forest’, and the Chaco ecoregion, one of the largest forested biomes (a major regional group of distinctive plant and animal communities) in South America.
In Argentina, while most recent expansion in soybean agriculture has relied on available agricultural land, there are aggressive targets to expand the agricultural area to increase soybean production for export.1
The cattle threat
Beef production in Argentina also poses a threat to natural habitats. Beef ‘feeding’, located on land that used to compete with agricultural crops, has been concentrated in the Espinal Ecoregion (an area of thorny deciduous shrubland forest) threatening grasslands and forests.
Similar impacts have occurred with cattle ‘breeding’, which has expanded into the Chaco ecoregion and is threatening forests. These processes are closely linked with an increasing demand for suitable land for soy cropping.2
Argentina also faces the issue of energy consumption and management and the inefficient use of non-renewable resources.
Other environmental problems
2 Carey C., Oettli D. 2006. Determining links between agricultural crop expansion and deforestation. A report prepared for the WWF Forest Conversion Initiative. 71 pp.