Integrated Landscape Management Program for the Sustainable Development of the Gran Chaco and Yungas regions in Argentina

Argentina landscape

Integrated Landscape Management Program for the Sustainable Development of the Gran Chaco and Yungas regions in Argentina

In recent decades, more than 80% of deforestation in Argentina has been concentrated to the country’s Gran Chaco and Yungas Ecoregions. It is here that PROGREEN’s Integrated Landscape Management (ILM) Program aims to maintain and improve ecosystem services in production and conservation landscapes.

The program is committed to working with national and subnational governments to promote policies that will positively impact communities’ livelihoods while supporting efforts to halt deforestation and reduce forest degradation. To achieve these goals, PROGREEN is financing four analytical works in the Gran Chaco and Yungas regions in Argentina to inform policy makers and relevant stakeholders in the realm of sustainable landscape management. Additionally, the products will provide invaluable insights for the implementation of the project co-financed by PROGREEN, the "Sustainable Recovery of Landscapes and Livelihoods in Argentina project. The National Parks Administration (APN) is implementing this project in 13 conservation and production landscapes and seascapes across the country, with four of them located in the Gran Chaco and Yungas regions. It will directly benefit 5.5 million people, including rural communities, tourism operators, government officials from the Federal System of Protected Areas, and local researchers.

 “In this context, the Integrated Landscape Management that PROGREEN boosts, in alliance with the National Government in Argentina, generates investments in infrastructure and equipment, capacity-building actions for public officials and supports community development initiatives for the use of environmental goods and services, for adding value to rural communities. Furthermore, it is generating primary information for evidence-base decision-making," explained Pablo Herrera, Senior Environmental Specialist for the World Bank in Argentina, at the Forestry Congress 2023 (CONFLAT).

In July 2023, the release of the analysis on fiscal and economic incentives for sustainable landscape management provided crucial insights into the regulatory framework targeting the preservation of environmental services in the Chaco and Yungas region. Despite the enactment of Argentina's Forest Law 26331 in 2010, which established the National Fund for the Enrichment and Conservation of Native Forests, the study emphasized that a lack of funding of the law has been a major drawback that undermines the law’s objectives. Acquiring insights into the budgetary allocation of a law as pivotal as this for the preservation of native forests is essential for making well-informed and effective decisions.

The study offers compelling strategies to address this issue and for a more efficient use of the fund. It advocates for a shift in the fund's financing source, proposing a transition from the export tax to the land tax as a source of financing, lands featuring native forest should be exempted from paying it. Additionally, the study recommends easing the tax burden on landowners with native forest and introducing agglomeration bonds. This innovative mechanism seeks to connect fragmented habitats on private lands, safeguarding biodiversity, and endangered species. It creates incentives and exerts social pressure to foster collective compliance among landowners who commit to this crucial endeavor. This multifaceted approach not only addresses the financial shortfall but also lays the foundation for a more robust and effective conservation framework.

Among its work, PROGREEN is also co-financing an overall agriculture sector review to identify opportunities for enhancing Argentina’s livestock sector competitiveness and resilience while improving the sector’s inclusiveness and reducing its GHG emissions. The National Institute of Agriculture Technology (INTA) is conducting a field assessment of the mammals and birds’ diversity on forest-based cattle ranching systems. The study aims at generating first-hand information on how different cattle management practices impact biodiversity across diverse landscapes. Additionally, INTA is providing trainings on productive landscape planning to local technicians and public servants in the region. 

Ultimately, this effort is expected to contribute to the improvement of the management and resilience of ecosystems and livelihoods in the Gran Chaco and Yungas regions.

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