About 20% of the Chilean territory is under different conservation categories, safeguarding a valuable heritage of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Additionally, Chile's system of marine protected areas is the fifth largest in the world (after the US, Australia, France and New Zealand), covering more than 150 million hectares, equivalent to 43% of the economic exclusive zone.
Chile is a country with unique geographical characteristics that has a rich biodiversity and different types of climate that favor the development of various species. It has approximately 31,000 native species, including plants, animals, algae, fungi and bacteria that are spread throughout the national territory, enriching its marine, terrestrial and insular ecosystems.
The central and southern zones of the country have been classified as a biodiversity hotspot, a term that refers to a territory with high endemism, which is also highly threatened and where a loss of at least 70% of its primary vegetation has been observed. This area is 1 of the 35 global hotspots of this type, according to Conservation International.
Almost 25% of the species in Chile are endemic, that is, they only live in this country. Amphibians, reptiles and inland water fish stand out, whose percentages of endemism exceed 50%.
Half of the world's known cetacean species (43 of 86 species) live and move in our seas.
20% of the species of fungi described in the world (3,300 of the almost 16,000 known species) are found in Chile.
Land and Ocean programs
As the fund establishes and grows, it hopes to design programs that will cover the country's territory and maritory, both geographically and thematically.
Fondo Naturaleza Chile is already working to establish two programs that will guide its efforts during the first years:
Marine Protected Areas Program: This program seeks to contribute to the effective implementation of conservation in the public network of marine protected areas in Chile, the fifth largest in the world. This will generate a concrete and replicable case in the region and in the world for the effective protection of more than 30% of the country’s oceans.
Watersheds Program: This program seeks to implement projects for the restoration of watersheds and nature recovery, and thus allowing for an increase in resilience and human wellbeing.
©Marcelo Flores | WWF
©Jorge Lartundo | mma
Marine Protected Areas Program
The vision of this program is: “Chile protects its marine natural heritage through a network of functional and effectively managed marine protected areas that contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and human well-being, by increasing the resilience of marine and coastal ecosystems in the midst of climate change effects”.
The objective is to transform Chile into a global model of compliance of the Oceans 30x30 goal, as well as effectively managing these areas by 2030.
The vision of this program is "Chile protects and restores its hydrographic basins for the conservation of biodiversity and provision of water for the benefit of people and nature, contributing to increase resilience to climate change."
©Jorge Lartundo | mma
Expected impacts of the fund
Strengthen the financing for conservation. Chile is one of the 10 countries in the world that invests the least in nature. This fund hopes to mobilize new resources for conservation in a transparent and effective way, aiding the States so that it can strengthen the public budget in this area.
Articulate actors of society for a broad, inclusive and comprehensive conservation of biodiversity. Environmental funds often fulfill this role of promoting dialogue between actors and fostering collective efforts to enhance the collaborative work for the protection of nature.
Demonstrate the potential for a nature-based economic recovery. In all its conservation projects, the fund aims to bring economic and social benefits to the communities. By measuring this impact and iterating on this model, the fund expects to contribute to the transformation of rural development in Chile, migrating from an extractivist and unsustainable model, to a regenerative one that benefits both people and ecosystems.
©Charif Tala | mma