|Environmental Development, v. 38:100611
Vallejos, M.,  Camba Sans, G.H. , Aguiar, S., Mastrángelo, M.E., Paruelo,  J.M.
Departamento de Métodos Cuantitativos y Sistemas de Información, Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
This study was funded by the following projects: Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) CRN3095 which is supported by the US National Science Foundation (Grant GEO-1128040) PICT 2015 0672 FONDECYT 1190207.
Forest Law defined conservation categories for the native forests in Argentina.
Deforestation is not allowed in areas of high and medium conservation value according to the Forest Law.
Illegal deforestation between 2008 and 2017 was about 722,782 ha in the Argentine Dry Chaco.
At least 28% of the total deforested area in this period breached the standards of protection provided by the Law.
Our results are useful to identify discrepancies between the legal objectives and the observed results.
Deforestation control is one of the major challenges worldwide. The aim of this study was to analyse deforestation under the Forest Law in the Argentine Dry Chaco ecoregion a decade after its enactment and to assess compliance with forest protection standards in this region. For this purpose, we overlapped the provincial land zoning maps with an annual plot level deforestation database and, for some provinces, with the rural cadastral cartography. Deforestation exceeding the values allowed by the Forest Law and the provincial zonings during this period totalized 722,782 ha (28% of the total deforested area in this period), of which 59,732 ha were deforested in high conservation value areas, 644,396 ha in medium conservation value areas and 18,654 ha in low conservation value areas. While Santiago del Estero was the province with the highest deforested area in medium conservation value areas, Córdoba was the province with the highest deforested area in high conservation value areas. Our results are an important step towards identifying discrepancies between the legal objectives and the observed results and represent an input to think about solutions to improve the environmental governance of the region.