Law for Nature: the project that creates the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Service is advanced to the Chamber

An important step was taken by the bill establishing the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Service, after the initiative was approved by the Treasury Commission of the Chamber of Deputies and Deputies to proceed with its discussion in the Chamber of Entities.

“We are very happy that this project is already completing its second legislative process. Now, the last thing left in the Chamber of Deputies and Deputies is for it to go to the Chamber during the next week. It is a great satisfaction that the approval was so transversal,” said the Minister of the Environment, Maisa Rojas.

This is a significant novelty for the so-called Law for Nature, which will allow progress in the creation of a single body for the care of the protected areas of the country and of the biodiversity present inside and outside those territories. It is a fundamental tool to better address the serious crises of biodiversity loss and climate change that are affecting Chile and the whole world.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas Service

The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Service wants to become a solid and well-funded service to face the challenge of managing terrestrial protected areas, which are equivalent to an area equal to 21% of the national territory, and marine protected areas, which reach 43% of the Economic Exclusive.

Along with this, there is an almost 58% increase in the environmental budget, which means a significant effort by the state for the institutional framework in this matter.

Furthermore, Minister Rojas referred to the importance of Chile having an organization of this type.

“It is very important that we have the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Service, because it is an enabling condition to be able to take on the serious crisis of biodiversity loss and also to respect the country’s international commitments”, said the minister.

“It is a central commitment of the government plan which materializes our challenge of being an ecological government and which will allow us to pay off an outstanding debt with environmental institutions in a concrete way and with resources. We hope that the remainder of the process moves forward quickly in Congress, as the climate, biodiversity loss and pollution crises are eager to be seriously addressed, we urgently need more and better tools,” he added.

For his part, the Minister of Finance, Mario Marcel, highlighted the need to have a solid institutional framework associated with caring for the environment.

“Will and enthusiasm are not enough, but it is necessary to have institutions that help in this goal. And in this particular case, of protected natural areas, it is very important that there is a project under discussion in Congress that creates the corresponding Service, because as long as we have an institutional framework it will be much easier to channel resources. Today having protected areas positions us in the world and we don’t want us to go back to where we are in a year or two ”, she stressed.

And he added that “for many years there has been talk of how to diversify the country’s production base and how to go beyond the extractive activity of the mines. Today there is an opportunity to diversify, but in a dimension that we did not have on our radar and that Chile, thanks to clean energy and the protection of the environment and nature, could generate a comparative advantage that allows us to relaunch the future development of the country”.

This new step is taken after the project was approved in August 2022 by the House Agriculture Committee, where it was for almost two years. It should be remembered that the initiative entered Congress in 2011.

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