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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


CARCAMO, P. FRANCISCO et al. Chronicle of a foretold conflict: Three coal-fired power plants in a biodiversity hotspot of global significance. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2011, vol.84, n.2, pp.171-180. ISSN 0716-078X.

In recent years, Chilean increasing energy needs have promoted the creation of many initiatives to generate electricity. The possible installation of three coal-fired power plants in the coastal area north of the Region of Coquimbo and close to areas identified as key to the conservation and management of marine (e.g., marine reserves, management and exploitation areas for benthic resources) and terrestrial (e.g., national reserve, priority sites) biodiversity, has generated social conflicts and raised concerns about the location and compatibility with others proposed uses for the area. This commentary proposes the conflict that arises between the need to cope with Chile's energy needs and the implementation of conservation and management of natural resources initiatives. We describe the ecological and economic significance and importance of the area of possible installation of power plants and the main impacts reported for this type of technology on human and ecosystem health. Finally, we suggest approaches and tools that can help in decision-making and conflicts resolution.

Keywords : coal-fired power plants; conservation; marine reserves; marine spatial planning; social conflict.

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