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LEGAL PROTECTION FOR NORTHERN CHILEAN WETLANDS (VEGAS AND BOFEDALES)

IWRA World Water Congress 2003 Madrid Spain
IWRA WWC2003 - default topic
Author(s): María Angélica ALEGRIA CALVO
Adrián LILLO ZENTENO

María Angélica ALEGRIA CALVO , Adrián LILLO ZENTENO Hydraulic Civil Engineer. Chief Engineer of the Water Resources Evaluation Area Direccion General de Aguas. Calle Estado N° 10, Office 1501, Santiago, Phones: 56 2 6398941/ 6339940, maria.alegria@moptt.gov.cl , malegria@vtr.net http://www.dga.cl Civil Engineer. Water Resources Evaluation Area. Direccion General de Aguas. Estado N° 10, Office 1501, Santiago, Phones: 56 2 6398941/ 6339940, Fax: 56 2 6339952. adrian.lillo@moptt.gov.cl http://www.dga.cl


Article:

Abstract

For centuries, indigenous communities from Northern Chile managed natural resources and environment on a sustainable basis. Their holistic understanding and knowledge is noteworthy, Due to pressure to get water rights for nonagricultural uses (mining, water consumption, etc.) over these wetlands, people started to drain them with the consequent loss of associated flora and wild fauna as well as reducing the power of ancestral rights of indigenous communities on natural resources (included water), putting at risk the sustainability and survival of both local In 1992 the Water Law of 1981was changed to prohibit any groundwater exploration and exploitation of aquifers feeding these wetlands. Since 1996, the northern wetlands are thus legally protected: 303 wetlands and their 176 aquifers, covering a total surface of 3500 km

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