- Learning Network
Challenges · Biodiversity · Livestock and Pasture
c. 5 million
Due to agricultural expansion, Argentina has pasturelands of great socio-economic importance in the Pampas and Chaco ecoregions. There are still more than 24 million hectares of natural pasture in the provinces most important for livestock production, such as Buenos Aires, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, and Santa Fe. The Chaco-Pampas region has winter and summer grass species that dominate the North and South of the region respectively; while drought and flood tolerant species are found in the West and East of the region. Agricultural activity, especially livestock, is the primary source of rural employment and is the base of the most traditional and emblematic markets of the country: meat, dairy and leather.
“Man is a landscape that walks,” said Atahualpa. Many years ago, being an environmentalist, I suffered at the knowledge of the death of a well-known community leader who had lived his entire life within a protected area and was a “living book” in respect to the natural history of the site. That fact made me reflect, and I realized that people necessarily form part of the “happy world” that many of us environmentalists dream of. J. Franklin’s metaphor of protected areas as “islands immersed in a sea plagued with hungry sharks,” also guided me towards work in production landscapes. Since the 90s I have researched and worked in forests and pasturelands without forgetting the human aspect of the landscape – perhaps the most important aspect for our culture. The generation of the concept that we now call “Meat from the Pasturelands” brings together a broad set of ideas that happily involves aspects of my training in agronomy.Gustavo Daniel Marino Coordinator of the Pasturelands Program, Aves Argentina AOP
The International Initiative for the Conservation of the Pasturelands of the Southern Cone of South America, or the Pasturelands Alliance, was created to deal with the technical, economic and political issues in the pasturelands.
With the support of foreign donors, one of the most important impacts has been the creation of a value chain for the meat from the Pasturelands, a product of the Alliance, which now operates in domestic and export markets. The concept has already been adopted in other biomes that include livestock production.
The pasturelands are now part of the discourse of the government, business community and Argentinian NGOs. The Pasturelands Alliance is a reference point for researchers, advisors, and officials. The initiative has also developed numerous materials for extension that work alongside the Extension Kit for the Pampas and Campos.
The integration of biodiversity conservation in productive pastures was initiated by producers and technicians with knowledge of native vegetation as a source of forage and wildlife habitat. The creation of a social initiative, made of conservationists and producers, International Initiative for the Conservation of the Pasturelands of the Southern Cone of South America, or the Pasturelands Alliance, was key.