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The lands of the Impenetrable

The fate of the Chaco region was marked from the beginning: Chaco means, in the Quechua language, “hunting place”

Las tierras del Impenetrable

The Chaco region is perhaps one of the most hit by human action in our country. Extincted species and razed forests are the balance of decades of neglect and poor administrative decisions, which today give us a landscape very different from the original.

This region comprises the provinces of Formosa and Chaco, east of Salta, most of Santiago del Estero, north of Santa Fe and part of Tucumán and Cordoba. It is an extensive wet plain, with abundant swamps and lagoons, with salt flats in the center and southwest of Santiago del Estero. It is bordered by the Pilcomayo River to the north, the Paraguay and Paraná Rivers to the east, the Salado River to the south and the Argentine Northwest region to the west.

A little history

Apparently, the fate of the Chaco region was marked from the beginning: Chaco means, in the Quechua language, “hunting place”. This is how many of the species that lived on these lands are now extinct, but the reasons for their disappearance are not found only in indiscriminate hunting: it also had much to do with the destruction of their habitat.

Until the 20th century, the Chaqueña region was covered by dense subtropical forests. However, in the 1970s, the government of the province of Chaco decided to cut down five million hectares of the wild forest known as the Impenetrable, with the aim of converting them into farmland. This project was not completed and the region was razed and transformed into practically infertile thorny chaparral. This situation worsened since 1990, when much of the natural forest cover in Chaco began to be dismantled to grow soy. The massive planting of this industrial crop helped eliminate the biodiversity of the area.

The Impenetrable continues, however, to provide a distinctive framework to this region and is, without a doubt, its distinctive mark.

Publication Date: 28/08/2018

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