Protect Chile's Cochamó Valley petition reaches 99,000 signatures

The petition to protect Cochamó Valley in Patagonian Chile has reached over 99000 signatures, while the Chilean government is considering applying Santuarios de la Naturaleza, or Nature Sanctuary status, to a small part of the valley.
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Robbie Phillips and Ian Cooper making the first ascent of 'La Junta Project' on the 700m granite wall of La Junta, Cochamò Valley, Chile
Drew Smith

As reported almost a month ago, the future of Chile's world-famous Cochamó valley is at stake with a 131,000-hectare privately-owned hacienda up for sale. This equates to about 1/3 of the land which, despite its beauty, uniqueness and importance, could be sold to private developers since it currently enjoys no legal protection; the valley is neither a National Park, nor a Nature Reserve, nor is it protected by the Chilean government in any other form.

This may change though. For the last decade local protection groups such as such as Puelo Patagonia, Organización Valle Cochamó, Agrupación de Arrieros Valle Cochamó and Friends of Cochamó have been fighting hard to safeguard the area's future, while the petition online launched by Fundación Parque Cochamó has garnered over 99,000 signatures from across the world.

It now seems as if the Chilean government is seriously considering assigning Santuarios de la Naturaleza, or Nature Sanctuary status, to a small part of the valley equating to about 11,000 hectares of public land. While this does not include the aforementioned privately-owned 131,000 hectares, this is certainly an encouraging step in the right direction.

Indeed, according to Tatiana Sandoval, president of Organización Valle Cochamó, once an area has been assigned Sanctuary status, it is possibile to annex properties. A definitive decision will be taken by the various ministries in the upcoming months. In the meantime, please be sure to sign the petition.

Click here to sign the petition: www.change.org




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