Posts Tagged ‘Chile’

A Country with a Conscience

Chile rejects huge hydro-electric project in Patagonia

Environmentalists say the hydro-electric project would have devastated the region’s ecosystem

The Chilean government has rejected what would have been the biggest energy project in the country’s history.

The HidroAysen project would have seen five huge dams built on two rivers in a beautiful part of Patagonia.

“This project has many aspects that were poorly thought out,” said Energy Minister Maximo Pacheco.

Environmentalists celebrated the decision, saying the project would have had a devastating impact on the area’s ecosystem.

“These giant dams would have put at risk the wilderness, traditional culture, and local tourism economy of this remarkable region,” said Amanda Maxwell, Latin America project director at the Natural Resources’ Defence Council.

Thousands of people had protested against the HidroAysen project.

Environment Minister Pablo Badenier said HidroAysen had made insufficient provision for those who would have been displaced, and the quantification of damage to the environment and wildlife were inadequate.

The companies behind the proposal, Spain’s Endesa and Chile’s Colbun, can appeal against the decision before an environmental court.

“Without HidroAysen, the country is starting to turn its back on hydroelectricity – the only real remedy to the continuing dependence on fossil fuels,” said Daniel Fernandez, the CEO of HidroAysen.

He described the move as a lost opportunity for Aysen, one of the most remote and under-developed areas of the country.

Source: BBC News

Nature Ramble

Off to South America and the driest desert in the world.

San Pedro de Atacama

Covers the north of Chile, the northwest of Argentina, the south of Peru and southwest of Bolivia.

San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama

From the sea to straddle the Andes.

So what kind of flora and fauna does one expect to find in such a harsh climate?

In the middle of the desert is the town of San Pedro de Atacama with about 2,000 inhabitants. It is a hub for tourism in the area, with people coming from and going to Bolivia via the Salar de Uyuni.

It has some good accommodations, up to three star and a good museum.

Surrounding the town there are many attractions, Valle de Luna, geothermal areas, and surrounded by volcanoes in the Andes.

The animals…

The vizcacha, a strange beast, like a cross between a rabbit and a squirrel

The vizcacha, a strange beast, like a cross between a rabbit and a squirrel

The image is from Andre in Chile, check the link for more animals found in the desert.

Desert Fox, Atacama – image: Stuart Littlefair

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) – image: Atacama Birds (many more on the link)

Liolaemus nigriceps - image: Gerhard Huedepohl

Liolaemus nigriceps – image: Gerhard Huedepohl

Flamingos in Los Flamencos National Reserve – image: vivaboo

Vicuñas – image: Peter’s Adventures

Just some of the animals you’ll find in this desert.

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