The flooding of the bordering rivers caused one of the most serious floods in recent decades and forced the evacuation of more than 170,000 people in the three countries and these days, history continues to repeat itself.
“Forests and jungles, in addition to concentrating considerable biodiversity, play a fundamental role in climate regulation, the maintenance of water sources and flows, and soil conservation. They are our natural sponge and protective umbrella. When we lose forests we become more vulnerable to heavy rains and we run serious risks of flooding, ”said Hernán Giardini, coordinator of the Greenpeace Argentina Forests campaign.
According to data from the Secretary of the Environment and Sustainable Development of the Nation, from the enactment of the Forest Law (November 2007) until the end of 2014, more than 2 million hectares were deforested in the country, of which 620 thousand hectares were protected forests. In the same period, the province of Entre Ríos lost more than 85,000 hectares of native forests. This province is the most affected by floods, with more than 20,000 people displaced from their homes, the majority in Concordia, a city located on the banks of the Uruguay River, which is experiencing its worst flood in 50 years.
The current situation of the Paranaense Forest or Missionary Forest, crossed by the Uruguay, Paraná and Iguazú rivers, is really critical: only 7% of the original forest area remains. While in Paraguay and Brazil it has been practically destroyed, most of the remainder is in our country, where it has been decreasing from an initial area of more than 2 million hectares to only about 40,000 hectares of pristine forests and around 800,000 hectares of secondary forests today.
A recent report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) places Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina among the ten countries that cleared the most during the last 25 years. Between 1990 and 2015 our country lost more than 7.6 million hectares (an area similar to that of Scotland), at a rate of 300,000 hectares per year.
On the other hand, the effects of the El Niño meteorological phenomenon are among the most virulent since 1950 and are raging so far in 2016, according to information from the World Meteorological Organization.
The digital note