San Pedro Model Forest

Country: Argentina
Location: Northeast of Argentina
Year joined IMFN: 2007
Area of Model Forest: 443,514 hectares
Regional affiliation: Ibero-American Model Forest Network

Contact information

Juan Gauto
San Pedro, Centenario 380 – 3300 – Misiones, Argentina
Tel: +54-37-5244-7160

Forest profile and resources
The San Pedro Model Forest (SPMF) is located to the Northeast of the province of Misiones, in Argentina. In the eastern sector, the San Pedro Model Forest runs nearly 200 km adjacent to the Brazilian states of Río Grande Do Sul and Santa Catarina, and the coastlines are touched by the Pepirí Guazú river.

This region falls within the moist subtropical ecosystems characterized by high biodiversity and an accelerated process of modification and transformation. The province of Misiones is home to approximately 12,000 km2 of native forest, representing approximately 40% of the original woodland cover. This area represents one of the largest and only remnants of forest of the Paranaense selva belonging to the ecoregion of the Atlántico Forest of Alto Paraná.
Economic profile
The current use of the land is primarily for agriculture and livestock farming by “minifundistas” who administer small areas of between 10 and 25 hectares. The predominant crops are yerba mate, tea, tobacco and forest for commercial purposes, combined with other crops on a lesser scale intended for the farmers’ own use, whether for family consumption, livestock feed or bartering with other farmers. Also found are rather extensive forest stands (more than 200 hectares) belonging to small, medium, and large enterprises.

There are many possible uses for non-wood forest products (NWFP), but the existence of a very strong culture centred around traditional timber production, and the lack of innovative ideas have meant that the NWFP are not taken into account. However, many indigenous communities from this zone rely largely on the use of these NMFP for their subsistence. More than 50% of the population of the SPMF lives directly or indirectly off the forest.

The main economic activity for the population in the SPMF area is connected to use of the native forest. Sixty-seven percent of the gross income from the primary sector of the SPMF area corresponds to forestry and the remainder corresponds primarily to agricultural and livestock activities. In addition, the area has started to produce fruit, vegetables, plants/flowers, poultry, and fish, which supplies a small part of the local market.


  • Representatives of the municipality of San Pedro
  • Association of women producers of vinegars and related products
  • Rural women’s association of San Pedro
  • Association of the union of rural workers of Misiones
  • Technical office of San Pedro, National institute of agro-fishing technology
  • Provincial school N° 786
  • Border school N° 601
  • San Pedro higher institute
  • Las Araucarias group, rural tourism
  • Mbya community of “Pai Antonio Martinez”
  • Baptist evangelical church “Buenas Nuevas”
  • Coop. ...for small agro-ecological producers of San Pedro
  • Civil association for integrated human development
  • Yaguaroundi reserve
  • Faculty of forestry sciences-National university at Misiones
  • Ministry of ecology, natural resources and tourism of the province of Misiones
  • Ministry of agriculture and production
  • Basalto S.A.
  • Timber council
  • Associations of producers, industries, business-owners, licensed professionals, and related groups
  • Organization of small producers of Colonia San Jorge

Strategic goals

  • Local population recognizes and values their natural resources, with emphasis on timber, non-wood products, and environmental services associated with the forest and its connection to the community
  • Complete formulation of the SPMF strategic plan
  • Achieve greater industrialization of the native forest raw material
  • Increase the value of multiple-use forests, applying a sylvo-pastoral agroforestry focus
  • Organize and achieve participation from all institutions, schools and the 47 districts in the event Model Forest EXPO
  • Set up a seed orchard for Araucaria angustifolia
  • Increase the mill production of yerba mate, and the positioning of yerba packaged with a denomination of origin
  • Establish the Forest-industrial technological centre and technological extension for forest and timber products
  • Consolidate the production and commercialization of Mbyá-Guaraní handicrafts
  • Develop a master plan for development, as a basis for assembling a sustainable tourism plan for the San Pedro Model Forest

Achievements to date

  • Project for the San Pedro technological centre
  • Department of San Pedro model for economic and social development
  • Project for the historical reconstruction of San Pedro
  • Project for sustainable development and regional self-sufficiency
  • Alternative use of non-wood products: Use of forest yerba
  • Subprogram for experimental management of the native forest
  • Subprogram for use of native mountain fruits in Model Forest agricultural colonies
  • Project to strengthen the domestic resources of the Mbyá-Guaraní hamlet of “Caramelito”, through the production of fruit plants
  • Project for payment for environmental services (PES): Environmental economic assessment in the sector of the Model Forest located in the upper basin of the Piray Miní stream, department of San Pedro, Misiones, Argentina, for payment for environmental services.