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Chilean Huemul

South America

The Temperate Jungle of South America, which covers regions of Southern Chile and Argentina, represents the largest tract of essentially undisturbed temperate forest in the world.

Chile

Dominated by southern beeches such as ulmo and laurel, these ancient forests support large numbers of plant and animal species exclusive to this region.

These include the Darwin Frog, the Pudú deer, the Chilote fox and the Chilean pine, or monkey puzzle tree.

"Chile's temperate forests contain at least 50 species of trees used for timber and more than 700 species of vascular plants - half of which do not occur elsewhere." - World Resources Institute, 1997

These forests are also home to indigenous communities such as the Pehuenche community of Chile's Quinquen Valley, the Mapuche Indians of Huitrapulli and other local communities who have long depended on the natural wealth of the forest for their physical, cultural and spiritual way of life.

The Great Chaco and Yungas Rainforests of Argentina

The Yungas Rainforest and the Great Chaco American forest are two neighbouring ecosystems. They are rich in biodiversity and wildlife, such as rare jaguars. However, these forests are being destroyed at one of the fastest rates in the world. The deforestation rate of the Chaco forest of northern Argentina, is up to six times higher than the world average.

The rate of this destruction has accelerated since 1996, when Monsanto introduced genetically engineered soya beans into Argentina. Since then, the country has extended its agricultural frontiers to grow genetically engineered soya for export as animal feed, at the expense of its threatened forests, wildlife and the homes and livelihoods of many people.

The Great Chaco Forest

Over one million square kilometres in size, the Great Chaco forest is the second biggest ecosystem on the American continent, after the Amazon. It stretches across four countries: Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil. It is one of the richest areas of biodiversity on Earth.

Around four million people live in the Chaco forest, most of them indigenous people who depend on the forest for food and water. Losing the forest's resources affects not only local people's diet but their livlihoods as well.

Many varieties of precious hard wood trees grow in the Chaco forestsuch as the Iron Wood tree, used to make 'sleepers' for railways around the world. When the forests are cleared to make way for soya, these trees are often burnt or illegally sold. This leads to huge economic losses. If the forest was properly managed, jobs could be created in sustainable forestry, and the environmental damage caused by deforestation and soya monoculture could be avoided.

The Yungas Rainforest

The Yungas, also known as the 'Clouded Rainforest' or 'Mountain Rainforest', stretches across 70,000 square kilometres of Argentina, towards Venezuela and along the Andes, to the north. The Yungas lies in the western ecological border of the Chaco forest and is much more humid. Several thousand people from over seven different ethnic groups live in the Yungas Rainforest.

The Yungas is considered an international hot spot for biodiversity by international bodies. Rare wildlife, such as jaguars live in the forest. Forty tree species are exclusive to the lower Yungas, 10 of which have a high commercial value, such as cedar and oak.

The Yungas is threatened by illegal logging and increasingly its lowlands are being converted into agricultural land for genetically engineered soya.

In the last seven years, more than 10,000 hectares a year have been lost to soya in the lower Yungas forest alone. It is illegal to log the forest's valuable tree species, but police and local authorities in the region are doing nothing to prevent the biotech industry clear cutting the land.

Wildlife in the Yungas and Chaco Forests

The Yungas and Chaco forests are home to jaguars. Once, the jaguar population of Argentina extended as far as Patagonia but today, these populations have been devastated by hunting and the loss of habitat due to deforestation and are close to extinction.

The Chaco forest is home to the giant armadillo, which is facing extinction. When these forests are destroyed, any wildlife in the bulldozers' path is shot. Armadillos and other, smaller mammals, are frequently burned along with the groups of fallen trees, stacked up along the newly deforested fields.

The solution Greenpeace is campaigning for is a two-year moratorium on forest conversion in Argentina while the problems caused by land conversion are addressed:

1. Land Planning: A New Land Planning Programme must be established so that Argentina's forests can be saved and become productive areas again under sustainable regulations for both people and biodiversity.

2. Land Tenure Regulation: All indigenous people and 'campesinos' must be given the right to legally own sufficient land to enable them to work and feed both themselves and their families.

The latest updates

 

The importance of being a big tree

Blog entry by Dr Janet Cotter | January 16, 2014 1 comment

We know that forests are biodiversity-rich, and we know they provide us with essential ecosystem services, such as regulating water flows and influencing weather patterns . One ecosystem service often discussed these days is the role...

Forest Carbon Scam

Feature story | October 15, 2009 at 17:12

Coal and oil companies are using forest offset projects to try and cheat the climate. Our new report Carbon Scam investigates how American Electric Power, BP and Pacificorp - all investors in the Noel Kempff Climate Action Project in Bolivia -...

Global cattle giants unite to ban Amazon Destruction

Feature story | October 5, 2009 at 0:00

Today we have good news from the Amazon. Four of the biggest players in the global cattle industry have joined forces to reduce their carbon hoofprint and back our call for zero deforestation. JBS-Friboi, Bertin, Minerva and Marfrig are going to...

Leather industry giant moves to end Amazon destruction

Feature story | August 14, 2009 at 15:14

Bertin, the world’s largest leather exporter is joining the fight against deforestation and climate change and is finally doing the right thing and backing the call for a moratorium on buying cattle from farms responsible for Amazon deforestation.

Victory for the Boreal Forest! Kimberly-Clark announces new paper policy

Feature story | August 5, 2009 at 0:00

It is finally time to celebrate a major victory for the Boreal Forest! Kimberly-Clark has, as a result of public pressure, released a new environmental fibre policy that governs how it will help conserve forests and support sustainable forestry...

REDD From the Conservation Perspective

Publication | June 2, 2009 at 18:00

Pitfalls and Opportunities for mutually addressing climate change and biodiversity conservation

Greenpeace Summary of the ¨REDD from the Conservation Perspective¨ report

Publication | June 2, 2009 at 18:00

Conclusions and Recommendations on the report commissioned by Greenpeace from the University of Freiburg, Institute of Forest Policy.

Bosques para el Clima: una propuesta de Greenpeace para desarrollar un enfoque...

Publication | April 27, 2009 at 15:03

Spanish version of the Forests for Climate Report : Developing a hybrid approach for REDD

Illegally logged "blood timber" from Liberia

Image | March 24, 2009 at 0:00

Ravenna port, Italy. Activists chain themselves to illegally logged "blood timber" from Liberia.

Joint Statement by International NGOs on Follow-up to the Legal Review of Logging...

Publication | March 10, 2009 at 0:00

Congo Rainforest: More protection, less logging needed - International NGOs warn against business as usual, urge government and donors to follow through on forest reform.

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