It could be property belonging to or managed by a wide range of private or non-governmental owners. In turn, it may be formally recognised by the government. Private nature reserves are born from the desire of their founders to protect and promote the natural resources held in their land, complementing the efforts of state-owned protected habitats, which in Argentina currently amount to less than 8% of the land surface. Additionally, they contribute greatly to a national or regional strategy of sustainable development.
According to the goals established in the Convention on Biological Diversity, signed in 1992 by the Argentine government and ratified in 1994 by the National Council (Law 24.375), at least 17% of each natural terrestrial region and 10% of natural marine regions in Argentina should be protected. As a substantial percentage of Argentine territory is privately owned, (approximately 80%) we private owners have an essential role to play in the conservation of our natural assets.
In most cases, private owners that create reserves on their lands also develop sustainable productive activities compatible with biodiversity conservation. In most cases they develop tourism, but some also operate cattle breeding and logging activities as well. In so doing, they make a valuable contribution in promoting wildlife conservation and sustainable ecosystems, as well as the functions they provide that generate the revenues to sustain them.
Argentina has over 190 private nature reserves totalling 726,000 hectares of private conservation, making the country a leader in this field across Latin America.
The distribution of private reserves in Argentina is marked by a clear disparity of governmental recognition and incentives for private conservation, the geographical incidence of environmental NGOs that support them, and the exuberance of nature in specific ecoregions.