Cochamo Valley threatened: The debate over ZOITs

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Cochamo Valley. Photo: Benjamín FuentesCochamo Valley. Photo: Benjamín Fuentes
By Evelyn Pfeiffer
Translation by Rebecca Neal
Chile’s Cochamo Valley is an area oft compared to Yosemite National Park of the United States because of its big granite walls and wild natural beauty attracting rock climbers and ecotourists in ever bigger numbers each year. But recently a controversy has stirred there as the mayor of the nearby town of Cochamo and a Chilean businessmen Roberto Hagemann – who has been pushing for building a large-scale hydroelectric development project in the area – moved to oppose renewing special tourism protections for the popular valley.
At issue in Cochamo Valley are ZOITs, an acronym in Spanish that stands for “Zonas de Interés Turístico,” which in English means “Areas of Special Tourist Interest.”

World Environment Day 2019

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Endangered huemul sited in the Puelo Valley

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A box that safeguards the soul of national parks

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Photo: Amigos de los Parques de ChilePhoto: Amigos de los Parques de Chile
By Eugenio Rengifo
Recently, we lived a historic moment at Pumalin Douglas Tompkins Park, one that is laden with meaning for us as Chileans and for the entire planet. The parks “Patagonia” and “Pumalin Douglas Tompkins” were finally handed over to government of Chile and its citizens. During the ceremony celebrating the final transfer of the parks, their donor, Kris Tompkins, wanted to give Amigos de los Parques (Friends of the Parks) a symbolic and concrete mission, materialized in a box with each of the elements of the rainforest found at Pumalin.

Documentary raises the alarm about salmon farming expansion to Chile’s Magallanes region

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Photo: Daniel CasadoPhoto: Daniel Casado
By Tomás Moggia
For some years now, the Chilean salmon industry, the second-largest producer worldwide, has coveted the Magallanes region. To a large extent, it’s the viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases generated by the industry itself in southern Chile’s Los Lagos and Aysén regions which forced them to search for new horizons for their salmon farms. At first, the long distance between Magallanes and the rest of the country was seen as an obstacle, today it’s become an advantage.
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