So what determines a report of the Multidisciplinary Institute of Plant Biology (IMBIV) National University of Cordoba, which states that 85% of forests in plains and mountains of northern province were destroyed.
research represents a desperate call from scientists to the reflection of the authorities and farmers. The results of work will be published this month in the prestigious British journal Biological Conservation by the interest shown by the international scientific community that research linking the disappearance of an entire ecosystem, the decline of some species, uncontrolled expansion of soybean crops and poverty of the inhabitants of the north of Córdoba.
The survey, unprecedented in our region, covering an area of \u200b\u200b27,000 km2, from the Salinas Grandes to the Laguna de Mar Chiquita and reveals the extinction in our province, an emblem of the north of Córdoba: the Quebracho Colorado.
"Do not touch more than a forest in Cordoba
Marcelo Zak, a biologist and member of IMBIV, who began the study of the current state of vegetation in the province, says that" The territory studied had an annual degradation, increased to those experienced by tropical forests, "adding that" the international average forest loss is 15%, we lost 85% "
The results are striking: The mountain forest cover increased from 8.4% to 0 , 5% of the province. The forests east of the Cordoba hills 30 years ago covered 20.5%, now only represent 2.1% and the West, 23% came to represent only 5.6% of the surface of the province.
statistics and categorical moving acquire a profile when they cause the cry of scientists: "We studied the vegetation in place and a few weeks back and found it was gone. It's very sad because it's like a death," says researcher warns: "Do not touch more than a forest in the province because there are no sufficient knowledge of economic losses caused by forest destruction"
quebrachos Goodbye, goodbye
A German scientist who toured provincial geography, wrote in 1904: "Going down the mountain, soon enters into a magnificent mountain area, which is distinguished by the exuberant vegetation, the splendid development of trees, shrubs and vines, and the freshness, illustrated by abundant vegetation. " The botanist described the mountains of Cordoba as "gems."
The sites people still lived on the natural resources of a mountain that is gone. This means that when you are destroying the forests, they take with them the species that inhabit it, example is the red quebracho tree, emblematic of 40 meters that populated the North and that the report determines the IMBIV is extinguished.
biologist Marcel Zak reflects on this and says: "Imagine what we lost because it is a tragedy, since the structure that replaced the red quebracho forests allows lower biodiversity, with fewer species. Destroy wealth when we allow the chaotic biological growth of the agricultural frontier, "concludes the researcher.
"In these ecosystem units, which work in harmony, the family lived modestly, but with a good quality of life," says the scientist who conducted field studies on the place and review it when large landowners began to covet the land, the villagers sold them of little value. The new owners then transformed forests into agricultural land.
regard, the biologist says, "This was encouraged by the increased rainfall in the north of Cordoba", which could introduce soy, without needing irrigation, it is a crop that needs lots of rain.
"La Pampa" says Marcelo Zak is one of the most important productive plains of the world. The land price was so high that those who wanted to expand their agricultural production, fixed his gaze on the north of the province because that land prices were very low and, with little money, bought huge territories "
" Kids potbellied "
over 100 years ago 25% of the provincial population lived in the north but in 1991, the population represented less than 5% and it is because the locals live a different reality than the rest of the province. "Large families live in huts, surrounded by bare soil, where women wash in Fuentona, the clothes worn paunchy guys" and described the biologist Zak, child victims of poverty and child malnutrition.
The scientist does not hesitate to relate the extreme poverty in Ischilín, Rio Seco or Sobremonte with the scarcity of natural resources that the absence of forest produce. Is that the changes unleashed by the exploitation of forest generated no improvement in the quality of life of the population. Moreover, locally extinct species, probably permanently.
"The poorest departments in the province are in the north, where there is a 90% rate of unemployment" and there for 30 years, the landscape changed to a regressive process, through which a large ecosystem forests are transformed into a bush and then into simple herbs.
The scientist said that "The crops went from representing 3% to cover 30% of the surveyed area. That is the real tragedy: people are impoverished and the land too," says researcher and said: "I know for sure, there are paunchy guys, because the forest and natural resources are no longer "Soy
for today, hunger tomorrow
But the growth of precipitation that encourage soybean agriculture is uncertain:" When the weather phenomenon decreases, what will happen is already apparent in many places: abandoned fields, after removing the forest to produce soya
IMBIV investigator claims that "Some of the agricultural deductions are designed to protect the forest" and questions that a cleared land be considered as improved.
"If they sell a field that has a beautiful forest, worth less than a bare soil. Furthermore, numerous environmental costs associated with the production of soybean and whoever receives the economic benefit does not pay, but society does. Who receives the proceeds should internaIizar these costs, because it enriches the meantime, what is left of our forests is an example of museum, "he adds.
The author of the report highlights the wealth of the forest and its ecosystem benefits, and that supply groundwater, control flooding, produce oxygen and provide habitat for wildlife, and protect soils from wind drag, a resource that takes centuries to recover as 10 cm. of land, take over 100 years to rebuild.
"It's a real tragedy and the government do nothing "statement Marcelo Zak and adds:" I think there is a gene in the minds of the rulers who makes just think in terms of his term in office, four years, an official plan seriously think about the environment at very long term, not only for the period in which their term of office "
" When devastate forests felled hope "
" If there are no forests, no dreams for the future. Today, producers and governments care about the economic benefit but do not value the ecological and economic gain to preserve "the biologist thinks"
"Without forests there is no water, that is very simple. We live in an arid area with water shortage and however, deprive him of the mountains. We know that there is a problem, but we do nothing, we work in our labs up to this reality, but the authorities' commitment to passing on the other side. A government that promises to change the future welfare of my children, not comfort me, "says Zak.
" I have the hope of leaving my children the native forest and governments it is stolen, because the sustainable development of both speak, it only makes sense if you think about the coming generation, is an ethical commitment to those not yet born. A natural environment in good condition, it is a hope for the future. When cut down native forests hewn hope, "concludes the researcher.
Daniel Díaz Romero