Jujuy Model Forest

Country: Argentina
Location: Province of Jujuy in the north-west of the country
Year joined IMFN: 2002
Area of Model Forest: 130 000 hectares
Regional affiliationIbero-American Model Forest Network

Contact information

Name: Virginia Outon
Address: Sarmiento 901 (4603)  El Carmen –Jujuy, Argentina
Tel: +54-38-8493-3768
Email: jujuy@imfn.net
Web: www.bmj.org.ar

Forest and resource profile

The Jujuy Model Forest encompasses the Yungas (cloud forest), Chaqueña and Prepuna phytogeographic areas. The Yungas accounts for 98% of the natural forest area in the province of Jujuy; 70% of the roundwood (timber) production comes from species found here. Unfortunately, measures appropriate to preserving the important biodiversity of the Yungas phytogeographic areas have not been taken.

Los Pericos valley covers an area of 27 000 hectares of farmland, and the valley of the Manantiales watershed has 3000 hectares of farmland. A Producers' Consortium administers the irrigation in both valleys in cooperation with the provincial government. The remaining Model Forest area includes housing developments, roads, and water reservoirs. Approximately 100 000 people live within the Model Forest area. Forty per cent of the mountain area is covered by natural vegetation (forests and highland pastures); the remaining 60% is farmland and urban development.

Economic profile

The total population in the valley region (rural and urban) is approximately 100 000 people. The zone is characterized by a population with a low socio-economic development index and one of the highest rates of households with unsatisfied basic needs in the entire country. Approximately 80% of the population is urban, and 50% of them have all services. Of the rural population, 20% does not have enough potable water or basic sanitation, and 20% of the area is unemployed. 

Agriculture is the most important economic activity, and the main crops are: tobacco, sugarcane, legumes, vegetables, flowers and pit fruits. The main industrial activity is the harvesting and processing of tobacco for export; cigarette manufacturing; grain processing; fruit and vegetable packing and the production of cement. 

Migratory livestock activities take place in the mountainous area of the basin, where it affects native forest stands, because it is not subject to the organized management of pasture land.

Why a Model Forest?

Insufficient planning and the lack of an integrated management plan, together with an uncoordinated administration, have led to a process of degradation in the watershed areas that must be reversed. Heavy summer rains and the resulting process of erosion have worsened the situation. 

In addition, there is a notable lack of diversification: economic production is focused mainly on growing tobacco in the valley and on cattle ranching in the forests and highland pastures. These activities are pursued in the virtual absence of soil conservation measures, and the overuse of agrochemicals is seriously polluting the soils and water sources, which is affecting the health of the people living in the area. 

It was decided that the Model Forest concept could help to address the problems mentioned above, given that its underlying philosophy allows for the integration of different views and offers a forum for dialogue and positive interaction for the benefit of the community. The many years of work and the successes that we have achieved show that collaborative leadership is possible when the different stakeholders comprising the Jujuy Model Forest pursue goals of common interest. 


Some of the member institutions of the Jujuy Model Forest are:

  • Jujuy tobacco council
  • “Ing. R. Hueda” agro-fishing educational complex
  • Consortium of Riego Valle de los Pericos
  • Cooperative of Jujuy tobacco growers
  • Provincial department for employment and training
  • Nº 1 business school – science club – Pampa Blanca
  • Environmental foundation “life, education and sustainability”
  • Ecological group “La Posta” - Perico
  • Yavi group of scientific researchers
  • Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria [INTA, National institute for agro-fisheries technology]
  • Perico agency
  • Municipality of Ciudad Perico
  • Private proprietors - Ing. Luis Picchetti
  • Secretary of production and environment of the province of Jujuy
  • National secretary of the environment and sustainable development – department of forests – national Model Forest program coordination 

Strategic goals

  • Consolidate an integrated process for planning and management of the natural resources in the region 
  • Create solutions to the uncoordinated administration practices that are current in the natural resource management of the watershed 
  • Involve the community in resource management and decision-making 
  • Raise awareness among the rural and urban populations of the value of conserving and preserving forest resources 
  • Reverse the process of erosion and deforestation through better land management and the sustainable use of natural resources 
  • Restore the native forest and extend the use of sustainable forest management practices 
  • Promote economic diversification and optimize the supply of regional products 
  • Encourage active participation by the education sector at all levels

Accomplishments to date

  • A forestry nursery of native Yungas species, funded by the National Forests Social Program (PROSOBO). 
  •  A seed bank of native trees in Northeastern Argentina that provides employment for persons with physical disabilities, funded by the Minetti Foundation and Embassy of Germany in Argentina. 
  • The New Roots Program, a joint initiative with Massalín Particulares and Washington State University, funded by Philip Morris Internacional. 
  • A vegetation study for the conservation of the Minetti Farm, which includes 14 000 ha of mountain Chaco-region forest. 
  • The Household Organic Waste Screening Project and composting production using worms, to provide an ecological alternative and to discourage the use of forest mulch, which is not sustainable, promotes soil degradation and water erosion, and hinders the natural regeneration rate of the forest.

International policy links

The Jujuy Model Forest has signed Cooperation Agreements with the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the National University of Jujuy, the Faculty of Forestry Science of the National University of La Plata, and with Washington State University.