Read below the summary of the interview with our director, Carolina Martínez, published on the Radio UdeC website
In what state are the Chilean coasts? What factors affect the marine-coastal ecosystem today? How does our activity impact nature and the coastal landscape? This and other questions were addressed in the last chapter of Dialogando con la Ciencia , which was invited by Dr. Carolina Martínez Reyes, academic at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), director of the Observatorio de la Costa and researcher at the Millennium Institute in Coastal Socio-Ecology (Secos) and the Research Center for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (Cigiden ).
The dialogue began with a reflection focused on the way in which human beings, with their interests, have exerted and exert pressure on the resources of the coastal landscape through economic activities, mismanagement of natural resources, housing, among others. This, according to Dr. Martínez Reyes, has generated during the last 30 years important transformations in the coastal area, which, in turn, has raised the need to develop integrated planning and management instruments that regulate the intensity and speed with which these ecosystems are lost. high natural and cultural value.
Therefore, the researcher questions whether the sustainable development objectives set out to ensure the availability, in the future, of these marine-coastal ecosystems are really being achieved. «We are at the debit in adaptation. Today we see the effects of extreme weather events, so we have a priority need to look for elements that increase social resilience and adaptability », is what he held.
At the same time, Dr. Martínez Reyes acknowledged that it has only been in recent years that the coast has begun to be understood as a singular and unique space, whose functionality does not depend only on local processes, but also on the alterations that occur, for example, from the level of the Andean basins to that of global teleconnections. For this reason, he considers that it is necessary to broaden the existing look.
Towards a new Coastal Law
The coasts also reflect the ability of ancestral peoples to inhabit these ancient landscapes, which were subjected to both coastal processes similar to the current ones and to changing cycles. For this reason, Dr. Carolina Martínez Reyes affirms that today there are vestiges of what those occupations were, those that «they make up a tremendous archaeological heritage that is invisible, which today is subject to degradation because it is simply not protected. Only the communities that are best linked to their identity and territory are those that have come out in their defense.
The aforementioned, according to the researcher, is part of the reasons why the determination has been made to promote the creation of a new Coastal Law that allows updating the normative instruments for the recognition of the coastal zone, which date from 1994. Although Dr. recognizes that in those years the objective of providing a basis for environmental legislation was fulfilled, the legal interpretation that has been made of the national policy for the use of the coastline is, in her opinion, not very systemic. that has limited progress towards more comprehensive management.
Finally, Dr. Martínez Reyes addressed other issues, such as the joint publication with other research centers of a policy paper regarding the new Coastal Law, the socialization of the proposals with parliamentarians who have an environmental vocation, the need to generate a new ethic to relate to the nature, among others. You can review the full chapter of Dialogging with Science here: