Flavia Liberona, executive director of the organization, was part of the panel discussion of the seminar “Coastal Law in Chile: for coastal governance in the context of climate change”, which brought together different professionals and researchers in the area and serves as a prelude to the new CIGIDEN and Terram Foundation publication on coastal zone legislation.
Natural threats such as storm surges, floods and waterspouts, or anthropic pressures such as urban growth, fishing and industrial activity, are part of the factors that have strongly impacted the Chilean coast in recent years, making evident the urgency to reflect and advance in your protection. With a view to this objective, the seminar “Coastal Law in Chile: for a coastal governance in the context of climate change” was held at the offices of the Valparaíso Regional Government, organized by the Observatory of the Coast and the Research Center for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (CIGIDEN).
The activity focused on the possibility of redefining the current notion of the coastline and on the principles that a new policy for its protection should govern. In this regard, Carolina Martínez, a researcher at CIGIDEN and part of the UC Institute of Geography, stated that “if we achieve that the coastal border law incorporates a governance with an integrated coastal management approach, which focuses on human development and not only development economic, we can generate the change that Chile needs ”.
Along the same lines, Rodrigo Cienfuegos, director of CIGIDEN and who was in charge of one of the exhibitions, emphasized the nature of the coast for public use. “The beaches are supposed to belong to all Chileans, being an area that should have a different governance (…) If we protect nature, nature protects us. That is something that we must consider from a critical perspective ”, indicated the academic.
After the presentations, the Terram Foundation participated in a panel discussion that highlighted the challenges that exist in coastal matters and in what aspects future legislation should consider. On this, Flavia Liberona, executive director of the organization, said that, given the complexity of the actors involved in the area, the challenge is to act against “a government that, in reality, cares little about what happens to the people, incorporates it little in the discussions and that they might want to pass a law without incorporating anything that we have discussed ”, because“ the project that is currently being discussed does not seek to solve the problems of the coastal area, it is designed according to those who have or they are made with rights to use it ”.
The seminar, which also featured the participation of Patricio Winckler, CIGIDEN researcher and academic from the University of Valparaíso, and with that of Senators Kenneth Pugh, Alfonso de Urresti and Ximena Órdenes, serves as a prelude to the next publication coordinated by CIGIDEN and that it has among its authors Christian Paredes and Ignacio Martínez, lawyers of the Terram Foundation. The document is entitled “Why does Chile need a Coastal Law? Towards a new governance of the coast for the 21st century ”and recognizes the challenges that in coastal matters make it necessary to have an adequate legal body, which takes into account, for example, climate change variables.
Regarding the importance of the publication, Christian Paredes assures that “this document constitutes a relevant input with a view to advancing towards a coastal law that, recognizing its inherently public nature, as well as the ecosystem functions and services it provides, effectively promotes towards its conservation over the privatization model that the bill proposes ”.
For his part, Ignacio Martínez emphasizes that the document makes evident the importance of effective participation and environmental justice as fundamental principles of any legislation on the matter. “In addition to listing a series of criticisms of the government’s proposal, the document proposes certain guidelines or minimum principles that a future coastal law should address, such as the need to incorporate as a central axis the participation of the different organizations in the definition of coastal planning as well as to integrate the concept of environmental justice ”, the lawyer pointed out.