APA! ENVIRONMENTAL PLAN

Being friendly with our mountains

One desire that encourages us every day is to be friendly with the mountains, meaning our actions must not jeopardize nor interfere with the natural phenomena that inspire and captivate us.

For instance: the Guanacos (Lamas guanicoe) have padded feet which allow them to get into the high meadows, drink and eat there without causing any damage. This adaptive phenomenon is known as part of the co-evolution, which involves organisms that through millions of years have coexisted, interchanged and created feedback among them to make life possible. Such organisms
“perceive and understand” the environment, adapting themselves to it. In the same way, the Yareta (Lareta acaulis) has hidden its trunk –under the foliage of its branches and underground– as a strategy to adapt itself to the environmental conditions of the high Andes region.

We have not co-evolved with the mountains, but through our understanding and emotions maybe we could connect and comprehend this natural setting in which we love to spend our time. This is our challenge nowadays.

For many years, the APA! association has been implementing an environmental plan born from the emotions and understanding of its members towards the environment, and this is a great moment to reinforce it and become stronger with it. These are some of its actions:

- Garbage collection and its transport out of the park.
- Waste sorting out into organic and inorganic, promoting the dehydration and reduction in volume of organic waste.
-Use of dry toilets with the incorporation of sawdust.
-Gray water filtering pools.

Reviewing some of the needs:

-Excrement contamination from high camps and base camps.
-Urine and excrement infiltration that leaks from the waste tanks over the moraine and permafrost.
Excrement and frozen toilet paper left on the camps and in the way to the summit.
-Garbage on high camps and also in lower areas brought by the wind.
-Landscape modification with the construction of mountain refuges. One of the most important values to preserve in Aconcagua Provincial Park: the landscape of the biggest western mountain, which must be protected in accordance with its powerful and indomitable expression. In addition, we have to consider the need to remedy the environmental passive contamination that includes the destroyed refuges (Colombia, Hotel, Antártida Argentina, Independencia).
-Restoring meadows affected by humans and exotic species (mules, etc.)
-Repopulation of Guanacos extinguished by men in the park gorges.