BIODIVERSITY

"In 60 years there will not be a hectare of forest left"


The damage caused by the soybean model, the extractivist model, and mega-mining are not topics on the political agenda in Argentina. Carlos Vicente, member of Acción por la Biodiversidad and member of Grain, warns about the risks of not taking future generations into account.

It is impressive to think of Argentina 60 years from now, because when one adopts that perspective, the scenario becomes dramatic. We are - literally - emptying Argentina. I remembered that character from Tato Bores in which he personified a German research anthropologist who came to study what had been Argentina, of which only a hole had remained within Latin America. And that's what we're doing. We are destroying 200 thousand hectares of forests per year in our country. That means that within 60 years, and at this rate, not a hectare of forest will remain, beyond the protected areas, which will be for the luxury of those who can pay to access them. But they cannot exist in a context of isolation, with a country looted of its forests and natural assets.

On the other hand, we have the seriousness of the contamination that is taking place, with the millions of liters of pesticides that we dump every year, which are going to remain in the environment, and that there is no hint that this problem is being resolved. This is going to continue for generations, affecting our peoples.

It is also worth noting the existence of the destruction of our soils: the soybean model and the extractivist model are emptying our soils -the richest on the planet- of their nutrients and their life. With which we face a desert future in our territory. To this we must add that, with the level of hydrocarbon extractivism and open-pit mega-mining that exists today, within 60 years we will find ourselves without natural assets; and with thousands of hectares throughout our mountain range and other territories where there are hydrocarbons under the contamination of the remains left by these activities. With water contaminated by chemicals used in extraction by fracking.

In just 60 years, when today's 18-year-olds turn 78, they could find that bleak future. It is incredible to think that we are doing that, and that there is no idea in the eyes of our leaders and those responsible for policies - current and future - that refers to rebuilding this scenario for the next 20 years.

To this we must add the global problem - in which Argentina has an important role - which is the climate crisis, and that our industrial agriculture model provides a good dose of greenhouse gases - something that we already know is going to be irreversible and that from the year 2030 the processes of climate disaster will worsen, as they are already beginning to occur at this time, dramatically - I think a terrible outlook awaits us.

However, I also firmly believe in the capacity of our people, to react, to respond, as the hundreds of agroecological experiences and resistance that exist throughout the Cordillera are doing. Also the struggle of the native peoples, who show that they want another way. I am confident that there will be an awakening, which is already happening, and that it will prevent us from reaching that 60 years -from now on- with this panorama of such sad and dramatic prospects.

By Carlos Vicente
Member of Acción por la Biodiversidad and member of Grain.

Video: Grossing $350,000 on Acres of High Intensity, No-Till Vegetable Production - Neversink Farm (October 2020).