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A project co-developed by Aves Argentinas and
Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina

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The project 'Grasslands and Savannas of the Southern Cone of South America: Initiatives for their Conservation' objective is to promote sustainable livestock in pastures by promoting the integration of nature conservation and agricultural production. It is co-developed by Aves Argentinas-AOP (AA) and Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina (FVSA) with funding from the Global Environment Fund (GEF) through the International Bank for reconstruction and development (World Bank). It has special support from the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) and the Administration of National Parks (APN) and participates in the initiative Alliance for the grassland.

Key Components of the Project

The grassland biome covers only 25% of the Earth's surface and is of major economic importance for humanity.

COMPONENT 1: Development of a responsible production model for the Argentine Pampas grasslands.

This component aims to develop a model for grassland biodiversity conservation coupled to responsible livestock production. The model considers social, environmental, economic and market dimensions, and  pay special attention to being adaptable to the reality of the Argentine cattle rangeland. It is based on the traditional livestock system with the incorporation of specific management practices such as: low capacity load per hectare and livestock rotation schemes , which added to a marketing strategy will allow the increase of biodiversity in the grasslands, and the possibility for the producers who join this initiative of accessing to new markets.

We understand by biodiversity the variety of wild animals and plants in their natural environment. Biological diversity, as it is also known, includes both the variety of ecosystems and genetic differences within each species, their interactions and their relationship with the environment, which form the base of life sustenance on the planet.

COMPONET 2: Validation and demonstration of responsible production model

The model of responsible production is adapted to four pilot sites, and subsequently strengthened through the development of a Pampas grassland beef certification scheme.

The four selected pilot sites are:
1) The grasslands of Bahía Samborombón; (province of Buenos Aires)
(2) The grasslands of Gualeguachú and area of influence (Entre Ríos province);
(3) The savannas of San Javier (Santa Fe province);
(4) The grasslands of the Aguapey River (province of Corrientes).

COMPONENT 3: Sharing the responsible production model with a wider audience (nationally and regionally)

Spread the responsibility model with a wider audience and build capacities for sustainable grassland management in Argentina and in the Pampas region.
Two major outcomes expected from this component are the replicability of the schemes used in the pilot sites and a better understanding of the economic and conservation benefits of the natural grassland management proposed by the project.

COMPONENT 4: Building the responsible production model into policy and regulatory frameworks

Incorporate the responsible production modelin national and provincial public policies.

Grassland ecosystem services allow sustainable livestock production

Where agriculture is impracticable, the grassland provides the forage necessary for stockbreeding . This activity occupies 70% of the Earth´s farming surface area. However, worldwide, 90% of grassland suffer from overgrazing and large surfaces haver already been converted for other uses, such as as crops.

From an environmental point of view, natural grasslands keep soils fertile, regulate the water cycle and provide an excellent opportunity to develop sustainable livestock production as the coexistence of wild species and domestic animals has already been substantiated. Natural grasslands also contribute to the bslsnce of atmosphere gases and contain 20% of the world’s soil carbon stocks.