One of the developing world’s most threatened forest ecosystems is the Gran Chaco semiarid forest. In Argentina, tens of thousands of hectares are cleared each year to make way for soy production, the export of which brings in nearly a quarter of the nation’s wealth. Despite nominal measures to curb deforestation, Argentine economic policy caters to the robust international demand for soy products and thus exacerbates the problem for short-term financial gain. At current rates, approximately half of the Gran Chaco will be gone by the end of this century.
This paper, written for Hunter’s Environmental Planning course, examines the principal drivers of deforestation in the Chaco and outlines a potential pathway for reforestation, conservation, and agricultural sustainability.
Image: World Land Trust