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Issues Affecting the Río de la Plata Basin

34.6S 58.3W

May 5th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Rivers

Argentina – May 4th, 2013

The Río de la Plata Basin, with a surface area of over 3,200,000 km2 is the second largest drainage basin in South America and the fourth largest in the world. It covers the whole of Paraguay as well as considerable parts of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay, including within its central plain the most extensive corridor of fluvial wetlands on the planet, as well as some of the most densely inhabited mega-cities in South America and in the world.

The ecosystems in the region, and its wetlands in particular, are significant examples of the abundance, variety and quality of natural resources, which facilitate the production of a large number of environmental goods and services of great economic and ecological importance.

The natural resources of the Río de la Plata Basin and the associated goods and services are threatened by factors such as the fragmentation of natural ecosystems, the expansion of agricultural borders, large-scale livestock rearing, major infrastructure projects, urban development and pollution, which not only affect the wetlands and biodiversity but also the local communities that depend on these resources, not to mention food safety and the global climate.

Unsustainable production is affecting the traditional production models in the region, increasing the impact of drought and flooding, and reducing the capacity for adaptation to climate change, which has a negative impact on the welfare of local populations, creating conditions that give rise to migration to large cities and increasing
poverty (click here for more information).

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