Defense nature reserves protect more than 400,000 hectares of Argentina’s ecosystems

Escochinga Reserve in Crdoba Photo National Park
Escochinga Reserve in Cordoba. / Photo: National Park.

La Defense’s network of natural reserves, from the Paraná forests in Misiones to the Patagonian steppe in Chubut, Composed of 18 properties belonging to agencies of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defense, it protects biodiversity in more than 400,000 hectares in 13 provinces of Argentina.

Many of these properties present a high degree of conservation of their natural characteristics due to the fact that the military presence and use allowed these sites to retain their original flora and fauna.


Based on the identification of an area of ​​interest by an executive committee composed of representatives from the Defense portfolio, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, each of the armed forces and the National Park Administration, A phase of investigation and analysis begins by representatives of the National Park Administration and the Armed Forces responsible for the administration of the property.

During this phase, the natural and cultural values ​​that may be subject to protection are identified and the types of military actions to which the property may be subjected are analyzed, such as survival exercises, shooting exercises or landing manoeuvres.

if applicable, The importance of the creation of a Defense Natural Reserve and the declaration of the property as part of the Defense Natural Reserve System is explained. This is done through subscribing to an Additional Protocol to the Agreement with National Parks.

Punta Buenos Aires Photo National Park
Point Buenos Aires. / Photo: National Park.

Once a Defense Natural Reserve is created, a local committee is created with the participation of the National Park Administration and personnel from the relevant armed forces, to command the reserve’s activities and ensure proper management without affecting its primary and specific military functions. is responsible for. ,

In a conversation with Telam, Pablo Serenelli, director of Real Estate, Reserves and Infrastructures of the Ministry of Defense, confirmed that “one of the first things to be done when work begins on the idea of ​​creating a Defense Nature Reserve is that the Armed Forces attribute biodiversity conservation maintain high levels of biodiversity and have the potential to restore ecosystems in areas where the land that surrounds them has been altered by various economic activities.

“It is not just about the armed forces’ properties, we are talking about defense nature reserves as some of them are on the coastal properties of the Naval Hydrography Service (SHN). or in the case of Ascochinga where the Social Work of the Armed Forces (IOSFA) had a recreational or tourism purpose; What is sought is to provide maximum level of protection to the biodiversity of these environments without optimizing the activities of defence,” he said.

The official explained that “there are times when what we can do when we locate a point of conservation interest is to move the activities to another point on the same property, or we can organize them at a time in which they produce the least possible impact, in any case, which is evidence showing that military activity has little impact on these properties and that is why they have become so important in terms of conservation.”

“Although part of the defence’s natural reserves are the product of the list that was publicized in 2007, many of those that were created in that process were not envisaged, but rather emerged through the collaboration of conservation organizations and local actors who were adding proposals that we later analyzed with the National Park Administration; this is not a discussion to protect one more hectare or one less hectare, but to identify what is of conservation interest and protect Give it the highest possible priority without affecting your needs that place”, commented.

Serenelli insisted that “just as We are working on the possibility of setting up new Defense Nature Reserves, too tWe have been working since the end of 2020 on what is known as ‘urban defense stores’ which we develop on a military basis with local governments which became a lung surrounded by urban development”.

In what sense Progress has already been made in the urban reserves of El Palomar and Castelar the Buenos Aires Municipality of Morón and with the Campo de Mayo Reserve through a presidential decree.

“These are green areas that are important to preserve in very dense urban fabric and that also play an essential buffer role between that urban fabric and military activities,” he concluded.

a use that is not incompatible with the environment

Meanwhile, Federico Granato, president of the National Parks Administration, told Telam that “Protecting nature reserves is a good strategy to understand that the use given to these properties is not incompatible with protecting the environmentAnd that the strategy includes national parks in the design of conservation policies makes it even more valuable.”

reserve battery charles darwin photo national park
Reserve Charles Darwin Battery. / Photo: National Park.

“A national park is the highest category of protection, but it also reduces or prohibits the activities it uses, which is why it is important to search for a consensus that establishes different levels of protection to create a mosaic. allows an increasingly large number of protected areas”, he concluded.

back to back reservation

The reserve was established in September 2008. “Buenos Aires Point” In an estate of 7,000 hectares of Patagonian steppe in Chubut province, it was the reserve’s turn in November of the same year. “Port Peninsula” more than 8,800 hectares of Paraná forest; The reserve was established in July 2009. “calera” 13,628 ha in Espinal in Córdoba Province, while in November 2012 the reserve was consolidated into Santa Fe Province. “Campo Garbato-Alferez Arello” in the Humid Chaco and 2,654 hectares of the reserve “El Tala Island” in the Paraná Delta and 2,000 hectares of islands.

Then, in September 2013 the reserve was established. “Battery – Charles Darwin” 1,000 hectares in the southern Pampa in Buenos Aires province, in December 2014 it was the turn of the “Quebrada del Portuges” reserve in Tucuman and 5,000 hectares of the reserve in Yungas. “escochinga” 3,389 hectares in Espinal in Córdoba.

While the reserve was consolidated in February 2021 “Uspallata” 215,375 hectares in the mountain ranges and high Andes in the reserve Mendoza “Martin Fierro Island” 211 hectares in the islands of Paraná in the Delta and Entre Ríos, reserve “Querandi Lighthouse” Buenos Aires Coastal Dunes, in 44 hectares of reserve “Punta Delgada Lighthouse” in Chubut and 550 hectares of Patagonian steppe in reserve “The Springs Ranch” 121,400 hectares in the San Juan mountain range and in the high Andes.

Reservation introduced in May 2023 “First Pines” in Neuquén on 956 hectares of Patagonian steppe; reserve “Long Hill” Buenos Aires, in 60 hectares of northern sierra in reserve “General Avalos Field” 7,620 hectares of backbone in Corrientes and Reserve “San Antonio Lighthouse” 550 hectares in Pampa in Buenos Aires.

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