Article in Noticias magazine

Heritage without replacement

Our National forests are under the scrutiny of specialists. A group of about 23 people, argentine and Canadian, with the help of a digital systems consisting of computer equipment, countless data, satellite photos and many other high-precision tools, will be responsible for making a local plantation radiography. They will accurately locate the sets of plants, determine how many trees there are for each species and they will even determine how many cubic meters of timber will be available per hectare.

As if it was a CT scan of planted forests, is the first time that it is done in the country. “It will help plan the sustainable development of forestry and accurate information about the structure and size of the plantations. So far it is estimated that that there are between 700,000 and 800,000 hectares forested but no one knows exactly how many are really there” says Carlos Viola (43), President of Aeroterra, the argentine company, associated with a Canadian that won the bid to do the research. The study will culminate in two years and is financed by a World Bank loan for U.S. $ 2,8000,000.

From the project in question will emerge an atlas of forest productivity and specialists say that points to order the expansion of forests and more precisely lead the distribution of both the investments that are now being made in the sector and those to come. According to Viola, Argentina has a great forest potential and there are many national and foreign companies interested in this industry “There are 20 million hectares that can be planted, they will not compete with other productions. Six million are in the Mesopotamia and four million in the Andean-Patagonian region” informs Ricardo Larrobla (53) Coordinator of the Forestry Development Project at the Ministry of Agriculture , Fisheries and Food (SAGPyA).

In the list of species to grow, apart from the traditional -pines, eucalyptus, poplar and willow- there are some that native like kiri, paradise, grevilea  and toona. “With these we are working on a pilot basis in the northeast and northwest of the country . Although they grow slowly,  in the future they may be required in the international market for producing decorative items. They will be marketed at high prices and demand will be assured “adds Larrobla. This forest inventory will shortly be followed by that of the native forests. Work will begin in March and will be coordinated by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Study.  Through the use of computer techniques we will be able to learn about the planted forests and which species are available.

To learn to take care of them:

  • Methodology: Geographic Information System
  • This type of inventory are available in some European countries, some US States and Canada.
  • Accuracy: 90%
  • Each province will be visited by field teams
  • Argentine subsidizes forestry. Since 1995 there has been an investment of 1,100 million of US dollars which is expected to rise to 4,000 million.