Puelo River, X Region, Patagonia.

Wild and Scenic River System (WSRS)

Wild and Scenic River System (WSRS) program aims to create legal and public policy tools for the protection of rivers. It is an Act established in United State which objective is to “preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. The Act is notable for safeguarding the special character of these rivers, while also recognizing the potential for their appropriate use and development. It encourages river management that crosses political boundaries and promotes public participation in developing goals for river protection”[1].
This project began to take shape in 2016, with the American organization International Rivers, with the support of Fundación Brasileña CASA, Weeden Foundation and Global Greengrant Fund; and within Chile, with the NGO Ecosistemas. The objective is to promote the creation of legislation comparable to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

In an initial stage with the Environmental Defender Law Center (EDLC), we made an analysis of the National legislation to evaluate the way a WSRS law should be adopted in Chile, the object of protection of this legislation and the characteristics that it should possess according to the national scenario.

Currently, together with the NGO Ecosistemas, Terram Foundation and International Rivers, the foundations are being laid to present this bill in Chile. A first review of the national legislation on water and environment was carried out aimed at identifying the legal opportunities for the implementation of the protection figure indicated, and a first draft of the Bill of Law is being worked on, together with the design of a communicational campaign.