Monkey Puzzle Trees (Araucaria araucana) in Parque Nacional Lanín along the Chilean border in Argentina’s Neuquen Province.
Argentina Forest Monkey Puzzle Trees (Araucaria araucana) in Parque Nacional Lanín along the Chilean border in Argentina’s Neuquen Province. © Erika Nortemann/The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy in Argentina

Gran Chaco

Halting deforestation through sustainable production and sourcing in South America's second-largest forest.

THE CHALLENGE
  • The Gran Chaco agricultural frontier is one of the most stressed eco-regions in the Americas.
  • The Gran Chaco, two thirds of which lies in Argentina (130 million acres), contains the second-largest forest mass in the continent, the largest dry forest in South America, as well as 3,400 plant species, 500 bird species, 150 mammals, 120 reptiles and some 100 amphibians. Many of these species  are in danger of disappearing as their natural habitat is being destroyed, including the world’s largest armadillo, the giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) and the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla).
  • Agricultural expansion and climate variability have led to rapid deforestation, soil degradation and biodiversity loss. Fifteen percent of the Gran Chaco is already gone, and in Argentina, some three million acres have been cleared for agriculture over 30 years.
  • Beef and soy, the main products of the Chaco, together are responsible for most global deforestation taking place today.
SOLUTIONS

In Argentina’s Gran Chaco, we are working to halt the deforestation generated by soy and beef production in South America’s second largest forest mass, and generate a deforestation-free beef and soy chain. We want to embed conservation throughout the production chain.

To accomplish this we are:

  • Working  with the Collaboration for Forests and Agriculture (CFA) to eliminate the loss and degradation of tropical and sub-tropical forests ecosystems, including the Argentina Gran Chaco, that result from the production of globally traded agricultural commodities by ensuring that key commodities (beef and soy) are sourced only from deforestation-free areas. The CFA is an initiative funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and led by the National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and other strategic partners, in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
  • Developing  Green Growth Compacts with the private and public sectors in the Gran Chaco to design and implement production practices that protect forests and mitigate climate change. The Conservancy is using Green Growth Compacts to convene diverse and essential stakeholders to find solutions that meet both human development and conservation targets.