The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) has released a report revealing the change in forest area in each country around the world since 1990. Bad news: Argentina is one of the ten countries that have lost the largest area of woodland, according to the report.
Although ostensibly ‘not too bad’ in comparison with Brazil, which has lost a whopping 531,670 square kilometers of forest area since 1990, Argentina should really be pining for its own massive loss.
Ranking the 9th worst offender, after countries like Indonesia, Nigeria and Burma, the UNSD has calculated that Argentina has lost a total of 76,810 square kilometers (a percentage change in forest area of 22.1 percent from 1990 to 2015). To put it into perspective, that is roughly the size of the province of San Luis.
The vast destruction is due to deforestation, fires and urbanization, among other causes.
Deforestation is now a global environmental problem and Argentina is contributing to it in a huge way, following in Brazil’s footsteps. Whether it is part of a corporate strategy for a logging company or a byproduct of the country’s growing cities — whoever is making decisions to chop down Argentine forests is really barking up the wrong tree, not least because the UN has outlined that forests are extremely important as carbon dioxide sinks, habitats for biodiversity conservation, providers of environmental services (e.g. water), and for sustaining livelihoods and economic opportunities within developing economies.