The Transformation of Land-Use Competition in the Argentinean Dry Chaco Between 1975 and 2015

  • Nestor Ignacio GasparriEmail author
Part of the Human-Environment Interactions book series (HUEN, volume 6)


The Dry Chaco in Argentina is among the most dynamic deforestation frontiers in South America. Land-use competition in this region today mainly relates to trade-offs between on the one hand ecosystem services important for local communities (e.g., fuelwood, forage, hunting, subsistence farming) and on the other side global demands for both agricultural commodities (e.g., soybean, beef) and conservation (e.g., of carbon stocks or biodiversity). Over the last four decades, land-use competition in the Dry Chaco has shifted from the local/market mode to the national/politic mode and recently to a global scale under a combination of political and market mode. Different actors and sectors try to shape land-use competition by shifting it onto a scale and into a mode more favorable for their own objectives. On the one hand, the agribusiness sector and provincial governments alike try to conserve land-use competition playing out at local-to-regional scale, with little regulation, and under market forces. On the other hand, local communities (indigenous communities and traditional small-scale farmer cattle ranchers) as well as regional NGOs try to shift land-use competition to the national and even global level. Associated with the upscaling of the competition process, new actors have emerged and become incorporated into land-use competition processes in the Dry Chaco. The national government takes on the role of a mediator to resolve conflicts, but also to create new framework conditions and legislation (most importantly a national Forest Law) for regulating land-use competition. The global community joins land-use competition by adding new options for land use (e.g., carbon stocks, conservation) and by market mechanisms that feedback on producers (e.g., sustainable or green labels). Distal drivers related to agricultural commodity trade, initially, promoted asymmetries in favor of the agribusiness sector. However, in the long run, distal drivers may also act to partially counterbalance the original asymmetries and to result in more balanced outcomes between the often conflicting aspiration of the actors involved in land-use competition in the Dry Chaco of Argentina.


Ecosystem Services Soybean Scaling Conflict Governance 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Ecología RegionalCONICET-Universidad Nacional de TucumánTucumánArgentina

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