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Parque Pingüino Rey, Tierra del Fuego.

The objective is to increase awareness among decision makers regarding the causes of the accelerated loss of our country’s biodiversity, with emphasis on the legislative omissions that contribute to such loss.

This area includes the following topics:

 Legislative Activity: The advancement of legislation that protects, promotes and furthers biodiversity:

  Bill of Law creating the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Service and the Protected Areas System (SBAP): promoted by the Executive, the SBAP is currently being processed by the legislature. In this context, the Foundation has worked on drafting proposals for the aforementioned bill of law, through the participation of its members as guests of the Technical Committee. It conducted an initial review, commissioned by the Environmental Committee of the Senate, and at the same time, through its Cultural Transformation Program (VIAmbiental), sponsored volunteer work, summarized in a document entitled “Analysis of the Bill of Law that creates the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Service,” backed by several NGOs in the country dedicated to the preservation of nature.

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Puelo River, X Region, Patagonia.

Environmental assessments: One of the flaws of our Environmental Impact Assessment System (EIAS) is that, on the one hand, there is no adequate or transparent environmental information on the territory necessary for verifying the information provided by private studies and environmental impact declarations for the development of projects, and, on the other hand, such information is provided by entities that do not have the independence or impartiality required for carrying out such studies, and submitting such statements. Added to this diagnosis, which can undoubtedly be said to be shared by the majority of national ONGs involved in environmental issues, there is a hypothesis that Geute has raised in its territorial defense work, in that the baselines of environmental impact studies, as well as the reparation, mitigation and compensation measures of such projects have openly omitted endangered species and their habitats, or have underestimated the impact on them. This conjecture has motivated us to work on a review of the assessment of such studies, in order to determine their effectiveness and whether they are in line with the territorial reality, from a scientific point of view, as well as the proposed reparation, mitigation and compensation measures, in order to formulate proposals to the authority, in a second stage, for improving the system of assessment in these matters.

 


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Acuaculture Industry.

Salmon Farming: Chile is one of the countries with the longest coastlines in the world, including not only its continental territory, but thousands of small islands and islets scattered in its multiple archipelagos. This feature was one of the variables considered by the global and domestic salmon-farming industry for converting our country into the world’s second-largest producer in this field, after Norway.

Chilean fishing is unsustainable as it uses mass quantities of native fish to produce fishmeal and fish oil to feed salmon in captivity.  In additional, the species being farmed—Atlantic salmon (Salmon salar), Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)—are exotic carnivorous species that escape from the farm cages.  That has an impact on local biodiversity because they eat other species and transmit diseases. This and other situations have led to an overfishing and collapse of 72% of the national fisheries, which jeopardizes national food security, biodiversity and the future sustainability of artisanal fisheries and coastal communities.

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Alhué, provincia de Melipilla, RM.

MiningMining in Chile currently accounts for 6% of tax revenues. Copper, molybdenum, silver and gold are the main exports, according the Mining Council report for October 2016. It is also one of the main extractive activities of greatest impact on the environment, archeological heritage, biodiversity and human health.  Throughout history it has been responsible for the desiccation and contamination of sources of water, of farmland and residential lands.  The north of Chile is one of the main zones sacrificed, where the industry generates waste in processing metals in the form of tailings dams, leach heaps or mining waste, without regard to the socioeconomic disasters caused by spills from broken concentrate or tailings pipelines.

Mining waste is what remains after ore is concentrated.  It is formed by previously crushed rock fragments containing different substances being suspended in water.  Some of those substances are highly toxic, such as lead, arsenic, vanadium and manganese, in addition to chemicals like sulfuric acid.

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