The delta of the Paraná River (17,500 km2) forms the second most important hydrographic basin in South America, after the Amazon in Brazil. Thus, the Paraná River, together with the Amazon and the Orinoco provide more than 30% of the planet’s renewable fresh water. This region, with a subtropical climate, is also distinguished by its biogeographic and ecological uniqueness, and is home to a high diversity of species in the macro-mosaic complex of wetlands associated with high geological, hydrological and sedimentary dynamics. The region is inhabited by island-riparian settlers who engage in fishing, hunting, livestock and beekeeping, small-scale productive activities dependent on the natural environment and access to natural resources. It is an area of great economic value since it supports the historical livestock activity par excellence in the country.
For several decades this area has been the focus of large fires. In 2020, characterized by a historical lower water level from Paraná, 14.3% of the territory was affected by wildfires, the highest amount in the last 20 years, with the consequent impact on the environmental and productive heritage of the entire region. The response of government institutions was aimed at reinforcing suppression and control policies, as well as tightening regulations that criminalize the use of fire, mainly affecting local communities and small livestock producers, who depend on the use of fire to carry out their activities of subsistence. This project has the aims to describe and systematise the traditional practices of the islanders regarding the uses of fire. The project also proposes the development of discussion platforms between the different actors to discuss the positive aspects of fire and traditional knowledge, fundamental pillars for the conservation of cultural and fire-resilient landscapes in the Paraná wetlands.
This project will run from August 2021 to April 2022.