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ARGENTINA: New Center Teaches People About Deforestation

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Project Overview

Anticipated lives impacted: 1,140 (through training in new agricultural techniques, as well as participants in programs at the conference center)

Grant amount: $69,000 (Cost per beneficiary: $60.53)

How can you contribute?
For $200, you can provide agricultural training to one person. For $5,000, you help 10 people learn how to work against deforestation. For $20,000, you can refurbish the dormitory.

Approved by the ARDF Global Trustees: November 2016

Project Description

Deforestation is a serious problem in Argentina. Due to past farming practices and agribusiness interests, the forests are quickly disappearing. Indigenous people who have been living in these forests for thousands of years need education on the dangers of deforestation as well as their legal rights when speaking out against businesses intent on clearing the trees off their land. The Anglican Church in Northern Argentina will partner with a well-recognized, international Christian conservation organization to establish La Caldera Christian Center for Creation Care. The Center will be used to teach church leaders and others about the dangers of climate change and to train Christians to adapt farming practices that can reverse deforestation. Through this project, church leadership will increase awareness of environmental problems and the effects on the local area. The diocese will use its retreat house and six acres of property in La Caldera in Salta province, Northwest Argentina, to provide a place for congregations and communities to attend trainings and workshops on deforestation. The diocesean property, with its varied topography, is ideal for conservation work and research. La Caldera also has easy access to the lowland region of the Chaco forest, which is inhabited by indigenous people who are being affected by deforestation. Specifically, this project will upgrade the La Caldera retreat house, meeting rooms, kitchen, and dormitories. Work is expected to take 12 to 18 months. Based on previous experience, between 800 and 1,000 people can be expected to rent the center for meetings, conferences, and camps during the year. This income will keep the Center financially sustainable after the project is completed.

In their own words:

“Under the aegis of [Dr. Andrew Leake’s] formally constituted charity, Fundación Refugio, he has for many years been closely monitoring the administrative treatment of deforestation proposals submitted to the government for approval. Working within the legal channels made available by the existing environmental legislation, he puts into practice the public right of access to the information regarding those proposals. That information he then communicates to those directly affected – who otherwise would not have access to the information.” — John Palmer, doctor of philosophy, from Tartagal, Salta, Argentina

Read the full report on the project here, or download a summary here.

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