BUENOS AIRES – Environmental watchdog Greenpeace projected images of trees onto a law school in Buenos Aires in a protest on Thursday aimed at bringing attention to the destruction of protected forest in the northwestern Argentine province of Salta.
The non-governmental organization is demanding strict compliance with the National Forest Law, an Environmental Ministry resolution published in January that canceled permits for 32 farms in that province to deforest in protected areas and a provincial Labor Ministry resolution that suspends authorizations for “soil-use change.”
In a statement, Greenpeace said it confirmed in a flyover of the area that tree clearing was occurring at three farms.
The watchdog group also denounced an agreement whereby within 30 days Salta Gov. Juan Manuel Urtubey may allow the owners of the 32 farms to continue cutting down forest if a study finds that the execution of their tree-clearing permits – which had been authorized by the provincial government – complied with the law.
Greenpeace said Urtubey’s actions would essentially grant a “pardon” to agricultural companies that have deforested protected areas.
In the protest, Greenpeace used a light show, dancers and the visual technique of “mapping” to project an image of a forest onto the nearly 100-meter-wide (328-foot-wide) facade of the University of Buenos Aires’ School of Law, where Urtubey once studied.
“We’ve come to remind Juan Manuel Urtubey of the importance of respecting our country’s laws: Argentina has a National Forest Law, a basic tool for protecting our native forests,” Diego Salas, Greenpeace’s development director, said in an audio recording released by the NGO.