Kayakers of the Paraná River in Argentina demand wetland protection

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A group of kayakers paddled 350 kilometers from Rosario, Santa Fe, to Tigre, Buenos Aires, in seven days in order to deliver a petition signed by more than 380 organizations before Argentina’s National Congress through which they demand a Plenary of Commissions to deal with the Wetlands Law’s project.

On 11 August, 2021, the kayakers set out from the city of Rosario, Santa Fe, ready to row 350 kilometers down the Paraná River until they reached the City of Buenos Aires. There they delivered before the National Congress a petition signed by more than 380 organizations from all over the country through which they demand a Plenary of Commissions to jointly deal with the  Wetlands Law’s project. 

Nadia Boscarol, one of more than 40 kayakers and a member of the Argentine office of Wetlands International, says that the historic downspout of the Paraná River – a product of the environmental crisis – is truly alarming. “There are sandbanks where there were none and it is very difficult to access the coast from low places,” she says, adding that the group spent nights camping illuminated by the flames of the fires that have haunted the area for months. 

After sailing for seven days, the group of kayakers arrived in Tigre, Buenos Aires Province, on 17 August, where they were received at the Monument of the Rower with a festival of music and poetry. The next day they went to the National Congress to request the Plenary of Commissions, which would allow the bill to be dealt with jointly, speeding up the process and enabling its sanction during 2021. 

According to Nadia, the direct contact with water and nature that is perceived when paddling generates in kayakers the urgent need for this wetland ecosystem – currently endangered by the advance of productive activities without adequate planning of land use – to be conserved. “That is why it was important to us to be a part of this feat from the river to the Congress to request that this bill be dealt with, which now has parliamentary status and that would lose it at the end of the year if it is not dealt with in the corresponding commissions”, she adds. 

From Wetlands International, in the Argentina office, we have been working in the country for the conservation of wetlands for more than 30 years and we have been pioneers in supporting bills for their protection.