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Argentina is experiencing increasing deforestation and degradation of its native forests with approximately 180.000 hectares lost per year. Argentina´s latest BUR established that 14,2% of total GHG emissions originated from land-use changes, particularly deforestation. Forest lost is an issue not only as it relates to GHG emissions, it is also an issue because of biodiversity loss, impacts of rural livelihoods, and damages to ecosystem services, such as water provision and soil retention.

Argentina has expressed a strong political commitment to the global climate change agenda. It has ratified the Paris Agreement established under the UNFCCC. In December 2016, Argentina presented an adjusted NDC, established in the framework of the Nacional Climate Change Cabinet (GNCC), through which it defined voluntary targets on mitigation and adaptation.

With the objective of making progress toward forest-related targets, Argentina is developing a National Action Plan on Forests and Climate Change (known by its Spanish acronym PABCC). This plan is viewed as a public policy instrument, and as a management framework. The general objective is to reduce GHG emissions and increase removals in the forestry sector, through increasing capacities for a sustainable use of native forests, reducing the vulnerability of forests, and the local communities who live in and around forests, to climate change.

Argentina´s PABCC is being developed under the leadership of the National Climate Change Directorate, together with the Forestry Directorate within the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. A series of technical studies have been developed to identify the drivers of deforestation and degradation, based on the application of causal loops models, which are specific to different geographic regions and land-use change dynamics, and also on an analysis of the legal and institutional frameworks.

In parallel, with the purpose of developing a transparent, open, and effective consultative process that engages relevant stakeholders, a participatory plan was implemented. Dialogue spaces were promoted to take into account gender and inter-cultural considerations, with the objective of integrating perceptions, interests, and the willingness to participate of different stakeholder groups, and with the purpose of establishing effective coordination mechanisms.

To strengthen institutional coordination, the GNCC’s agro-forest roundtable was engaged. This roundtable is composed of government representatives from different units within the Ministry of Agro-industry and Ministry of Environment. Members of this roundtable are providing continuous support during the PABCC´s design and development process. The draft Plan has been also shared with the full GNCC roundtable, a consultative body, open to civil society. The PABCC´s development process has also engaged the provincial governments through the Environmental Federal Council (COFEMA). Specifically, the commissions on Climate Change and Native Forests, with a view of articulating relevant policies at that level too. 

It is interesting to highlight the development of subnational multi-sector dialogues, focused on each of Argentina´s forested regions. At these dialogues drivers of deforestation and forest degradation have been discussed, as well as strategic action lines identified to address the former. More than 300 participants attended these dialogues, among others: public servants from provincial governments, from the environmental and productive sectors, NGOs, academia, the private sector, small producers, local communities, and indigenous people’s representatives.

In addition, technical working groups have been established at the national level. These groups provide feedback, discuss the findings of the technical studies, and provide recommendations about how to address topics related to the REDD+ readiness pillars, including: indigenous people’s participation and consultation, safeguards and forests´ social/environmental benefits, strengthening the NFMS, among others.

Argentina´s Action Plan synthesizes the findings of the technical and participative processes described here. It is the result of systematizing, analyzing, and integrating by the UN-REDD National Programme team, of all inputs gathered in each of the different instances, in continuous coordination with the technical teams from the Forestry and Climate Change Directorates, and with the support of the partner organizations and consultants engaged in the process.

Argentina´s PABCC seeks to understand the situation of native forests in the country and delineate a scenario by 2030, in consideration of a low emissions development path. The PABCC establishes a series of strategic action lines, addressing structural and operative elements that guide measures and actions towards reducing deforestation and forest degradation, as well as restoring and regenerating native forests.

To accomplish the expected results, the PABCC promotes territorial planning, competitive and sustainable land use, preserving and recuperating productive landscapes, and the integration of culturally appropriate cosmo-visions. The PABCC also promotes strengthening the structures of local communities linked to native forests, land tenure security, and recovering the value of ancestral knowledge.

Argentina Encuentro region Parque Chaqueno

 Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation discussion. Multi-sector dialogue at the “Parque Chaqueño” region. Province of Santiago del Estero, Argentina

All of the above has provided to the PABCC a solid institutional anchorage. In addition to being part of the GNCC platform that discusses action plans for the implementation of Argentina´s NDC, it links the political and technical levels of different government entities, at the national and provincial levels, as well as civil society.

Through the implementation of the PABCC, Argentina will contribute to its international commitments while promoting a resilient and forest sustaining development path, that enables progress in fighting climate change and generating additional social and environmental benefits related to reducing poverty and preserving biodiversity.

Fernanda Alcobe, PMU Coordinator

UN-REDD National Programme, Argentina´s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development

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