Socio-environmental conflicts: An underestimated threat to biodiversity conservation in Chile

Carranza, Daniela M.; Varas-Belemmi, Katerina; De Veer, Diamela; Iglesias-Mueller, Claudia; Coral-Santacruz, Diana; Mendez, Felipe A.; Torres-Lagos, Elisa; Squeo, Francisco A.; Gaymer, Carlos F.


Biodiversity is vital in the functioning of ecosystems, but it's permanently being threatened by anthropic impacts derived from productive activities. Thus, conservation has become a global challenge. In Chile, the dissociation between economic activities and conservation has triggered numerous socio-environmental conflicts in recent decades. This work explores how different projects that give rise to these conflicts can represent an underestimated threat to biodiversity. We identified socio-environmental conflicts in Chile and their associated projects by carrying out an online review of 1035 news articles published between 2004 and 2018 using the key words "environmental conflict". We selected articles describing a socio-environmental conflict between parties caused by a project or productive sector. Conflict-generating projects were classified by productive sector and capital origin. In addition, their geographical distribution with respect to High Conservation Value Areas (HCVAs, protected areas and priority sites for conservation) was determined. A total of 283 projects were identified from 14 different productive sectors, most of them related to energy and mining, which threaten biodiversity and human well-being mainly due to pollution and habitat destruction. Chilean companies finance most of the projects, but international companies finance over half of the energy and mining projects. Moreover, 37 % of the projects were located within HCVAs either for the establishment of future protected areas or where protected areas are currently established. As countries make new efforts to maintain and recover biodiversity, it is contradictory not to consider the threats posed by conflict-generating projects to key areas for conservation, both in public policies and in spatial planning instruments.

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Título según WOS: Socio-environmental conflicts: An underestimated threat to biodiversity conservation in Chile
Volumen: 110
Fecha de publicación: 2020
Página de inicio: 46
Página final: 59


Notas: ISI