Greenpeace JAGUARS activists on motorbikes patrol the clearcut area in the native forest region of North Argentina and stop bulldozers from destroying the forest to expand genetic engineered soya monoculture.
The Pizarro reserve in northern Argentina, where the Great
AmericanChaco Forest meets the Yungas Forest was a haven for
wildlife and theWichi people who depended on the forest for their
A haventhat is until February 2004, when the state government
decided to putthe reserve on the auction block, sold to the highest
bidder to beripped up and converted into soy plantations.
We responded immediately with actions in the forest and
cyberactions from those who couldn't be there in person. Thevoices
of activists from countries near and far were being heard by
thegovernment of Argentina and the message was clear, stop the
Only a few weeks ago the battle to save the forest was still
ragingwith bulldozers being stopped in the act of clearing more of
thereserve by activists riding motorbikes and flying in
helicopterspainted like Jaguars.
In the middle of all the activities to savePizarro, we asked
prominent Argentinean actor Ricardo Darin to helpout. Not only did
he support the campaign but he also asked one ofArgentina's
favourite sons, football legend Diego Maradona to 'put hishand up'
for the forest as well, and he did.
Maradona, on his own top rating TV talk show, appealed directly
to thepresident to save the reserve from the bulldozers and the
soyplantations. A week later, we met with the Argentinean President
NéstorKirchner along with a group of artists and indigenous
activists andPizarro was saved.
The 22,000 hectares that remained intact from the original
reserve willform a new national reserve with the indigenous Wichi
people havingexclusive rights to use over 2,000 hectares of the new
reserve. Gainingownership over their traditional land gives the
Wichi people a chanceto improve the quality of their lives and
continue their traditionalway of life in the forest.
Around 3,000 hectares of the original reserve had already
beendestroyed by the time the bulldozers were finally silenced so
an areathe same size neighbouring the original reserve with similar
habitatwill be added to once again make the reserve 25,000
This just goes to show what a group of committed activists, with
a lotof energy, creativity and help from some friends can achieve.
Pizarroreserve is saved!
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