PANTANAL The land where nobody wins

In the heart of South America, in the region of Mato Grosso neighbouring Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay it extends the biggest swamp area in the world: Pantanal;  a real treasure trove of biodiversity to safeguard.
With its 230 thousand square kilometers of length it has won the record of being
the widest floodplain and the third largest environmental reserve on Earth. It is characterized by periodically flooded seasonal forests that makes for a very important ecological resource hosting one of the richest ecosystem on the planet. Animals such as jaguars, macaws, caimans, capybaras, giant anteaters, anacondas, a variety of fish and birds, and even hundreds of more other different types of living “creatures”, take refuge in this area. It is considered to be the “Ecosystem par excellence”, with the highest number of species of flora and fau- na in the world in terms of biomass.

Its inhabitants, the Pantaneiros, since their first settlements, have always been living in harmony with the wild nature raising livestock extensively for a living. However over the last years, things have changed dramatically. 

In the cattle management, particular breeds are becoming extinct and the growing industry of the ecotourism is forcing people to modify their lifestyles, reducing locals’ political and decision-making power. The net defines this beautiful place a series of “uniform landscapes, aesthetically harmonized, with perfectly ordered fields, forests, trees, flowers, lakes, and rivers, reminiscent of the Eden”, but there is no mention of any existence of the Pantaneiros, not even of the long dry months, nor of the massive presence of caiman jacarè whose hunt is mostly wanted to be legalized for industrial use. The global warming, the construction of infrastructures to increase the possibility of tourism, deforestations to leave space for intensive agriculture, the unregulated exploitation of water and fish are all new challenges that this natural paradise has to face. Have man and nature learned how to live together in a respectful way yet?