Tag Archive for: Forests

Due to the fires that occurred throughout the territory of the Province of Córdoba during this year, we asked the Provincial Ombudsman’s Office and the Ombudsman’s Office for Girls, Boys and Adolescents to intervene in order to urge compliance with the duties that weigh at the head of the provincial authorities.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

The catastrophic fires that occurred in Córdoba during this year involved serious damage to local forest ecosystems, affecting an area of ​​350,000 hectares. These consequences not only had a full impact on the meager area of ​​remaining native forest in the provincial territory, but also seriously affected fundamental rights. In particular, of those people or groups who are in a marked situation of vulnerability or who maintain a close relationship with native forests for one reason or another. In addition, they affected a serious mitigation component to the climate change phenomenon, the native forest.

The scope and magnitude of the fire undoubtedly revealed certain deficiencies in the fire management system by the authorities. The ordinance foresees specific duties in matters of prevention, budgeting, mitigation and restoration, which seek to avoid or at least mitigate these types of phenomena in the magnitude and manner in which they occurred, even more so if it is considered that the territory presented a high risk of fires due to severe drought and weather conditions.

Although the arrival of the summer rains alleviated the fire, the truth is that the future situation is still critical. The province currently has a tiny percentage of native forest, with a high risk of fire due to factors such as drought and other phenomena (intentional fires). For this reason, unfulfilled duties must be taken “seriously” and completed in order to avoid catastrophes such as those experienced. On the other hand, it is essential to comply with the duty to investigate, punish and restore the affected areas in a responsible way, guaranteeing citizen participation in plans and access to information for proper management.

Likewise, it is a priority that the citizenship and the State carry out inspection and control tasks of the affected areas, to avoid authorizations in the changes of land use or of protected categories, as ordered by Laws 26,815 of Management of Fire and 26,331 of Native Forests.

To guarantee compliance with these duties, we ask the Córdoba Ombudsman’s Office and the Office of the Ombudsman for Girls, Boys and Adolescents, to intervene within the scope of their respective competencies. We believe that both institutions play a fundamental role in guaranteeing and demanding respect for the fundamental rights of those who inhabit the soil of Cordoba.


Juan Bautista López, juanbautistalopez@fundeps.org

Native forest ecosystems, no less than a month after the last fires, are again affected by this phenomenon, causing immeasurable environmental damage. Even though drought conditions constitute a variable that increases the risk of fire, these, for the most part, come from a premeditated and intentional human action.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

During the month of August, the province suffered serious fires that spread over over 40 thousand hectares, causing serious socio-environmental damage, that is, destruction and disappearance of forest ecosystems, damage to homes and evacuations of those who live in the vicinity. Even though its effects persist in the burned areas, new sources of fires are seriously affecting other geographical sectors of Cordoba.

This serious situation makes it possible to question the actions of the authorities regarding the efficiency or even existence of a system to prevent these phenomena. The reality is that less than a month after the last fires, prevention failed again and today it is necessary to observe and regret – again – the loss of biodiversity and the damage to mountain communities due to intentional fires in the province.

The objectives and values ​​that arise from the environmental protection regulatory system, and in particular, from the fire management system (National Fire Management Law No. 26,815) and that should guide the implementation of public policies around the phenomenon, they were and are clearly unfulfilled. The early warning and action systems envisaged in the regulations seem to be part of an ideal far from their effective implementation.

Notwithstanding this, even when the preventive stage has largely failed, it is important to emphasize the duty of recomposition that weighs on those who are responsible for the fires as well as on the authorities, and on the important role played by citizens and civil society in demanding compliance. Contrary to what seems to have happened on the preventive side, the recomposition cannot and should not constitute an illusion. Real measures must be put in place to guarantee, from a technical point of view, adequate restoration of ecosystems, ensuring real (not fictitious) citizen participation that allows communities to monitor and be part of this process.

At this point, it is necessary to clarify that, according to current regulations, the areas that were protected by the categories of forest land management do not lose this categorization due to fires, and there is an obligation to recompose them. This circumstance should not be ignored because any undertaking or action that intends to use these territories must be subject to the restrictions that are in force for the corresponding protection category, even when as a result of the fire there is no native forest there.

On the other hand, it is important to note that even when the figure of “ecocide” serves as a conceptual category to frame the events, the truth is that from the legal point of view, it is not incorporated into the Argentine criminal law. The reality is that the use of category can divert attention, blurring the true criminal responsibility attributable from Arts. 186,187, 188 and 189 of the Penal Code, that is, the crime of arson in its various forms and according to its various qualifiers. For this reason, it is important to note that this type of responsibility exists, is punishable by the Penal Code, can and should be reported, investigated and tried, without prejudice to the corresponding responsibilities regarding environmental recomposition.

From Fundeps, we believe that the authorities should, among other possible measures, carry out effective prevention actions immediately; comply with an adequate investigation in order to determine and attribute the corresponding responsibilities for the damages or crimes committed; launch an environmental recomposition plan closely linked to citizen participation; and to tend to the protection of all the native forest ecosystems existing in the province not only in relation to fires but also around any activity that threatens their integrity.


Juan Bautista Lopez, juanbautistalopez@fundeps.org


Images of fires in Falda del Carmen and Bosque Alegre (Pedro Castillo / La Voz)

In the context of the discussion on how to update the provincial legal framework to protect the native forests of Cordoba, the National Forest Direction states that more information is needed, including a map and technical reports. At the same time, the National Direction affirms that the provincial process must assure mechanisms for substantive participation.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Nation, through the Directorate of Forests, made known its considerations in relation to the process of updating the territorial order of native forests that faces the province of Cordoba, in response to a request made Córdoba Environmental Forum, by means of note dated 01/27/2017.

– Expressed its concern about the failure of the province of Cordoba to comply with the deadlines set for the update. In this regard, he recalled that he had already requested the delivery of progress regarding the upgrade process. In the communications with the provincial government, he communicated the guidelines and the vision to take into account the adjustment procedures and the accreditation of the updating of the OTBN (according to notes sent on 2/23/16 and 4/6/2016).

– Reported that in August 2016, the local enforcement authority shared informally a first update project. The National Directorate detected significant changes to the first provincial OTBN plan, and highlighted two points: “an increase in the area of ​​declared forest and an important passage from native forests from Category I (red) to Category II (yellow)”.

– Checked the exchange of progress on the updating and existence of opposing positions of various actors, according to their participation in the meetings of the inter-institutional table of dialogue convened by the General Secretariat of the Gov. From Cordoba, the Sec. Of Environment and the Sec. Of Agriculture. In this instance does not refer to any process to try to approach antagonistic positions.

– Observed, among others, that the OTBN bill does not allow to know the areas of native forests by conservation category, which is essential for its accreditation.

In summary, he stressed that for the purpose of carrying out the analysis for the accreditation of OTBN of the province of Cordoba, it is necessary:

1. Have the complete bill (it does not contain the map with the location of the forests and their conservation categories of the OTBN update)

2. To have the technical document with the methodology used for the evaluation of the criteria of environmental sustainability and the resulting surface.

3. Know the participatory process that would accompany this proposal.

So far, the discussion on updating the framework for protection of native forests in Córdoba has not complied with national regulations, has not allowed open participation, has hidden information and shared it with only a few specific sectors.

From FUNDEPS, we demand that the process be transparent, participatory, comply with the requirements demanded from the Nation and be respectful of minimum environmental budgets, in order to avoid the repetition of conflictive situations in relation to the territorial order of native forests of Cordova.

More information


Male Martínez – Environmental Equity Coordinator


In recent weeks there have been repeated pressures to advance against the few remaining native forests in the province of Cordoba. We defend freedom of political and artistic expression and we demand a participatory and technical discussion that assures an adequate protection of our forests.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

By the end of 2016, and thanks to the mobilization of communities and civil society organizations, it was possible to extend the treatment of a forest law project that was intended to be approved without adequate discussion. That project would have meant a clear weakening of the protection to native forests in our province.

From FUNDEPS, we developed a document with numerous legal and environmental critiques of the bill. The criticisms marked the clear weakening of the environmental protection of the forests as well as the existence of a process non-transparent and non-participatory. Both points violate the National Law of Minimum Budgets for the Protection of Native Forests

Some of these criticisms had already been raised in a joint document between the Environmental Forum, FUNDEPS and other institutions that rose to the government in response to the position of CARTEZ entitled “Producing conserving and conserving produce”. Neither CARTEZ nor legislators who presented the project responded to the technical questions that were posed to that position.

Instead of taking advantage of the extension of the discussion period to generate a participatory space or to respond to the legal and technical questions that were made to the project, from the agricultural sector is pressed to get a rapid approval of the bill. It is accused of setting positions without scientific basis when from that sector could never answer the questions that were sent. Likewise, artists such as José Luis Serrano and Raly Barrionuevo are especially under pressure to mobilize against the few remaining native forests in our province. In a statement, CARTEZ strongly criticized Doña Jovita and Raly Barrionuevo for accusing them of “generating confusion” and defending “extreme ideologies”. As a reply, José Luis Serrano challenged the ruralist entity to answer with “scientific arguments” the doubts raised by the Environmental Forum.

In that line and in a surprising twist, journalist Andrés Carpio de Cadena 3 intimately informs José Luis Serrano for his comments regarding the journalist’s description of the March 28 march. The journalist made a strongly negative description of the march describing it in a number much lower than the estimates of the organizers. He also suggested that those who marched did not know well why they did so to the extent that there was already a decision to postpone the treatment of the bill. It seems that in the journalist’s position, the defense of native forests and the visibility of a popular demand are not enough reasons to publicly manifest in a peaceful way.

In that context, the artist José Luis Serrano personifying his character “Doña Jovita” marks his surprise for the inaccurate description of the demonstration against the forest law project. It does so through his character, in an artistic expression and criticism of an inadequate description of a popular mobilization.

We defend the right to free expression and artistic expression with connections to rights and social demands. We are opposed to pressures against public demonstrations. We also strongly reject the use of legal mechanisms to limit the critical positions of public figures.


Juan Carballo, Director Ejecutivo


We present to the Legislature critical comments on the native forest law project in the province of Córdoba, with a lot of irregularities in the participation process and several questionable points in the wording of its text, which would imply a decline in the protection of native forests.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


In 2007, the National State passed National Law No. 26,331 of Minimum Budgets for Environmental Protection of Native Forests, as a base legislation, with equal protection for all inhabitants of the country. According to the constitutional mandate, the provinces are responsible for legislating either by equalizing or maximizing protection and include matters that they make to the specific or specific matters of each of them. Likewise, it establishes the national legislation and its Regulatory Decree No. 91/2009, each province must carry out its Natural Forest Management and update it every five years, through a participatory process and according to criteria of environmental sustainability established in its Articles and Annex .

The province of Cordoba sanctioned the Provincial Law of Territorial Ordering of Native Forests No. 9814 on August 5, 2010, in a process in which the participatory instance guaranteed by the national law was not respected. That legislation established a deadline for updating it that expired on August 5, 2015.

In apparent compliance with these regulations, at the end of September 2016, the provincial government decided to open a “dialogue table” in order to complete with the corresponding updating of the territorial planning of the native forests of Cordoba, seeking to overcome the irregularities of the process Made five years ago. However, the violation of the necessary conditions for the development of a sustainable participatory process was noticed. These shortcomings do not comply with the “Methodological guidelines for the updating of territorial regulations of native forests” approved by Resolution N 236 of COFEMA.

Recently, in the month of December 2016, the bill on the territorial organization of native forests was presented to the Legislature. That proposal is disconnected from the dialogue table insofar as it does not reflect the debates, contributions and discussions that were generated in the same.

From FUNDEPS we have prepared a document, “Draft Law on the Regulation of Native Forests and Regulation of Exotic Forests of the Province of Córdoba (Expte. 20811 / L / 16)“, as it does not conform to the minimum environmental protection budgets enshrined in our National Constitution and in the laws Environmental aspects that refer to this matter, both procedural aspects and substantive aspects.

We synthesize the main recommendations to the bill:

• Need to conserve the native forest existing in the province of Córdoba according to the map of law 9814 and only exceptionally allow the changes of land zoning, according to resolution 236/12 of COFEMA.

• Must observe the minimum legal parameters at the time of updating the OTBN, especially a real and effective access to the right to citizen participation.

• Extension of the restrictive definition of native forests.

• Reconsideration of the Ministry of Science and Technology as enforcement authority.

• Duty to expressly prohibit mining activity in high conservation categories.

• Duty to explicitly prohibit chemical dismantling and rolling practice in more conservative categories.

• Updating the OTBN map with technical – legal fundamentals.

• Limitation to sowing with exotic postures and reconsideration of environmental damage remediation with implanted species.

For these reasons we urge to generate an open and participatory process for the discussion on the updating of the forest law of the province of Córdoba and we suggest to adapt the project with the highest environmental legislation and to ensure at least the same level of environmental protection to our Native forests


Male Martínez, malemartinez@fundeps.org