With just 20 large jaguars left in region, Greenpeace is arguing for judicial protection in Argentine court

Greenpeace in Argentina Friday appeared before the Supreme Court of Justice to argue there must be legal protectiobn of the Yaguareté that lives in the Argentine Gran Chaco.

It is the first time in the legal history the country that a presentation on behalf of a species and the Rights of Nature takes place. Although there were previously legal actions on behalf of orangutans and chimpanzees, by the zoos of Mendoza and CABA, these were carried out in the name of a specimen.

The action Greenpeace has taken iscarried out in the name and representation of the entire Yaguareté species that inhabits the ecoregion of the Argentine Gran Chaco.

“Only 20 yaguaretés remain in the Chaco region. Despite having been declared a National Monument, its territory is not being protected and this puts its livelihood in serious danger , ” said Natalia Machain, executive director of Greenpeace Andino. “Accepting and encouraging that nature and its species have their own rights is part of the struggle of humanity for the permanent extension of rights ,” Machain explained.

The lawsuit is against four provinces – Chaco, Salta, Formosa and Santiago del Estero – where the yaguareté habitat is located, and the national state, for not complying with the National Forest Law. The claim to the highest court is to ” allow that species can continue to exist, enjoy their ecosystems, maintaining their life plans, health, welfare, food, freedom, reproduction and safety of the last less than 20 vulnerable subjects.”

“Scientists estimate that in Argentina in the last two centuries its territory was confined to 5% of the original surface , ” said Enrique Viale, head of the Association of Environmental Lawyers and lawyer in charge of the case.

As part of Nature, jaguars have rights. The law has recognized rights to companies, which are abstract entities, fictions, intangibles but, in contrast, up to now it does not recognize rights to Nature and its species that are real, alive and tangible. ”

Greenpeace is seeking from the courts a guarantee “Zero Deforestation” in the territories where the species lives, the conservation of the biological corridors of the Gran Chaco Argentino is ordered, its degradation, fragmentation and deforestation are prohibited. In addition, it requests that the recategorization be prohibited (authorization to dismantle in areas protected by law) in the defendant provinces and that those granted in Chaco and Salta be annulled. Finally, it requests that the funds established in the Forest Law be granted and a Management Plan on the Yaguareté be implemented, as established by National Law No. 25.463, which declares it a National Natural Monument.

The estimated population in Argentina is 250 individuals (approximately 160 individuals in the Selva de Yungas, around 80 in the Paranaense Forest, andless than 20 in the Gran Chaco region ).

The population of jaguars in the Chaco region is isolated from the other two present in Argentina and there has been a significant decrease in the last ten years, so that no specimens are found in areas where they had been reported.


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