The forestry companies will have to clean plantations near the towns

The Society of Forest Producers (SPF) and the Ministries of Environment (MA) and Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP) agreed that the companies harvest and clear forest plantations near populated centers, following complaints from the population affected by the latest fires.

It must be harvested and cleaned within a radius of 200 meters from the limit of each locality. This will begin “immediately,” MGAP reported in a statement, and companies will have a maximum period of 90 days to complete the tasks.

In principle, these measures will be taken in the towns affected by the latest fires, such as Algorta, Orgoroso, Piedras Coloradas, Pandule and Pueblo Bellaco, in Río Negro and Paysandú. Then the demands will be transferred to other areas of the country.

Cleaning should be done in those forested areas that were affected by the fire and in those that were not, confirmed to The Observer from MGAP.

The producers claimed

After the fires in Paysandú and Río Negro, which affected 35 thousand hectares as confirmed by the National Fire Department (DNB) to The Observer, the proximity of some plantations to the villages was highlighted and criticized by various producers. In the meetings that the ministers Fernando Mattos and Adrián Peña had with the producers affected by the fire, this was expressed by several of the victims. The Minister of Environment He accepted that “it was evident” that there are “shortcomings” and “things to order.”

The regulations provide that forest areas must be separated by at least 500 meters from the populated centers., although it is not fulfilled in all cases because most of the projects pre-date this regulation and the MA had jurisdiction in the matter.

In this framework, the government and the union that brings together the forestry companies, agreed to ask the companies to take measures “Additional and complementary to the existing ones”.

In other locations

The second stage of the agreement stipulates that the same be done (harvest and cleaning) in 20 localities defined as “priority” by the MA and MGAP. The order in which the localities will be intervened and the total of them will be known within 10 days when an analysis that is carried out by Environment and Livestock ends. Some of those already confirmed are Cerro Chato, Alejandro Gallinal, Grecco, Tranqueras, Tambores and Laureles, he told The Observer Minister Peña.

The order and magnitude of the intervention by locality will be defined in an agreement between the government and the Fire Department within a period of 10 days. The execution of this second part of the agreement will end on November 30, 2022, it was announced.

Finally, the third part of the agreement will include specific situations that will be analyzed in detail, for these, the Society of Forest Producers (SPF) must present an action plan by November 30 of this year.

They will analyze fire prevention

On the other hand, as anticipated, the MA will convene “immediately” an interdisciplinary field to analyze the technical criteria for fire prevention that are applied in environmental authorizations for afforestation projects. This technical team will be made up of representatives of MGAP, DNB and SPF.

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