A new report released by Greenpeace has revealed that nearly half of the deforestation that took place in northern Argentina last year was illegal. The four northern provinces of Salta, Santiago del Estero, Formosa and Chaco accounted for 80 percent of all deforestation in the country.
In 2017, 128,217 hectares were deforested in these provinces, of which 59,541 hectares were illegally cleared. The majority of illegal deforestation took place in Santiago del Estero and Chaco Provinces.
According to Greenpeace, the main causes behind this deforestation were the expansion of the agricultural frontier – especially soy cultivation and cattle ranching – and forest fires.
Greenpeace points to low fines and complicity of civil servants as main drivers of persistent illegal deforestation. Since 2007, when the National Forest Law was approved, more than 750,000 hectares have been illegally cleared in Argentina.