The Parana Delta is located in the final part of the Plata River Basin and can be depicted as a wetland macro-system that occupies nearly 17,000 km2 in the Argentinean provinces of Buenos Aires (15% of the area), Santa Fe (5%) and Entre Rios (80%). Its complex hydrological regime is characterized by periodic flooding of the Paraná and Uruguay rivers and moon and eolic tides of De La Plata River, sometimes so intense and lasting that it has serious consequences for biota and local people (Kandus et al. 2006).
Great variety of resources & productive activities
The Parana Delta is a heterogeneous region with a great variety of resources and therefore, with a great variety of productive activities related with these resources. The delta supports the livelihoods of around 20,000 people, who mainly depend on the wetlands’ resources and environmental services.
Traditional productive activities in the Delta
Traditional productive activities currently undertaken in the Paraná Delta are hunting and fishing (commercial and subsistence), beekeeping, wicker production for basketry, fruits cultivation, firewood collection (mainly in Entre Ríos province), Salicaceae-afforestation and tourism (mainly in Buenos Aires province). Small-scale cattle ranching was historically performed as a seasonal activity taking place during late winter and spring, when the river is at its lowest stage (Rosato 1988).
Big-scale economic activities
Today forestry plantations of willow (Salix) and poplar (Populus) and livestock farming (involving the use of the herbicide Glifosate) are the two main big-scale economic activities within the Delta. Both activities are responsible for wetland degradation, involving the use of “embankments” as a way to drain-up the wetlands.