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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


PELLET, PATRICIO F.; UGARTE, EDUARDO; OSORIO, ENZO M.  and  HERRERA, FABIOLA D.. Biodiversity conservation in Chile, legally enough?: The need for mapping the law before deciding. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2005, vol.78, n.1, pp.125-141. ISSN 0716-078X.

About 99.8 % of the land sustaining biodiversity in Chile is rural and regulated by legislation, which has been qualified as disperse, too specific or inorganic. Even though modern legislation like (Chilean Law of Environmental Basis) tends to be more holistic in nature, serious imperfections connected with applicability, interpretation and, mainly enforcement still prevails. We argue here that any search for, or application of, ecological models as a support for conservation biology could be strongly complemented by a measurement of the land surface (amount and spatial distribution) effectively affected by present environmental protection legislation. Our study attempts to answer to the question of how much land will be effectively under protection if law is enforced. To answer this question we designed and tested a methodology to express, in cartographic form, legal dispositions related with Chilean native forest protection. We analyzed its complexity and the effects of its application. We show that it is enough to enforce the law to get to assure a minimum of land, which in addition of increasing the currently protected are also increases connectivity while changing fragmentation patterns. Our SIG based methodology has advantages in terms of its application to environmental monitoring, planning and control of social initiatives

Keywords : biodiversity; native forest; environmental legislation; Chile.

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